UPDATE: Parliamentary candidates make the SMarT Plus pledge

The campaign highlights the economic contribution made by UK seafarers.

The UK Chamber of Shipping has contacted over 800 parliamentary candidates from around the country, asking them to back our campaign for enhanced support for maritime training.

Our proposal, which we call SMarT Plus, would see a doubling in government support to £30 million a year. In return, many leading shipowners will increase the number of seafarers they train and guarantee them their first job.

UPDATE: In under a week we have secured the backing of 40 parliamentary candidates for our SMarT Plus proposals – including senior figures such as Sir Vince Cable.

"That means, once Parliament resumes, we will be in a strong position to harness Parliamentary support for the concept that would see government support for seafarer training increase significantly.  This follows the support we have already received from major national newspapers and others," says Guy Platten, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping.

Benefits of SMarT Plus

The benefits of increasing funding for seafarer training would be significant. British seafarers are among the most productive workers in the UK economy, contributing £17,500 per year more to UK GDP than the average worker. According to the government’s own figures, the UK economy gets £5 back for every £1 invested in maritime training.

Results from the ComRes poll, commissioned by the UK Chamber, this month identified that MPs have a good general awareness of shipping’s significance to UK trade, which provides us with a great launchpad on which to base this campaign.

When asked to name the mode of transport that carries the largest proportion of import and export cargo to/from the UK, some 87% of MPs knew that the answer is shipping.

You can track the SMarT Plus pledge campaign's progress on Twitter, using the hashtag #backourseafarers

Here are some of the responses we’ve had so far…

For more information contact:

Holly Birkett

Communications Manager (content & digital)

020 7417 2868

HBirkett@ukchamberofshipping.com