Merchant Navy Training Board showcasing UK excellence in seafarer skills and training


Another key event at the UK Chamber of Shipping today is the Merchant Navy Training Board’s (MNTB) reception showcasing UK excellence in seafarer skills and training. The event forms part of London International Shipping Week and will see the launch of a booklet - Building Our Future – which contains case studies from young people working in maritime services.

The booklet is a joint venture between Careers At Sea – the MNTB’s platform for careers promotion to young people – and Maritime UK and shows the journey of six young people who have chosen a career at sea. Their paths are all different and show the breadth of careers available in the wider maritime sector.

With 800 new entrant officer trainees currently envisaged this year, the event celebrates UK maritime skills and training with a keynote speech from Sir Alan Massey, head of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Attendees will also hear from DFDS – who are leading the way in taking on their own rating apprentices – and from an officer trainee - who is also a Careers At Sea ambassador - just starting his career.

UK Chamber President Kenneth MacLeod will open tonight’s event – Kenneth started his career at sea in 1959 as a galley boy on a Clyde steamer and has recently called for shipping companies to be able to include ratings trainees as part of their tonnage tax commitment.

Kenneth MacLeod has also commented on this week’s important news from Government announcement that it will raise the Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) funding by 25% to £15m per year:

“This is a clear vote of confidence from Government on the ability of the maritime sector to create UK jobs. UK shipping supports 190,000 UK jobs and the wider maritime sector supports 540,000 jobs. UK employment has grown 6% since 2009.

“I started my career as a junior rating on a ship’s galley and I know first-hand that giving young people more opportunities to work at sea is vital to the continuing success of our maritime economy.

“As a result of today’s announcement, more young people will have the chance to follow in my footsteps and build a career in global trade.”

The Building Our Future booklet is available to view or download as a PDF


For further information please contact Gemma Wilkie, PR Manager at the UK Chamber of Shipping on 020 7417 2834 or

Notes to Editors

  • The UK Chamber of Shipping is the trade association for the UK shipping industry, working to promote and protect the interests of its members both nationally and internationally. 
  • With around 140 members from across the maritime sector, the UK Chamber represents over 925 ships of about 30 million gross tons and is recognised as the voice of the UK shipping industry. 
  • UK shipping has a turnover of over £11bn. With indirect effects, UK shipping’s contribution to UK GDP is £13bn.
  • The UK Chamber is the home of the Merchant Navy Training Board - the shipping industry’s central body for promoting and developing seafarer education, training and skills, and provides MNTB administration and staffing arrangements.
  • The UK Chamber is a member of Maritime UK, which brings together the major associations representing the UK’s the shipping, ports and maritime business services sectors. 
  • The UK Chamber is a lead partner in Sea Vision, the nationwide campaign working to raise awareness of the sea and the maritime sector, particularly amongst young people aged between 13 and 22 years old.