Prime Minister hosts maritime summit at no 10, Government announces increased SMarT funding and launches Strategic Partnership Plans for shipping and ports


Government today made clear their support for the maritime sector as they announced increased funding for training and a cross-departmental approach to policy - following a summit   of shipping industry leaders hosted by the Prime Minister to discuss UK competitiveness - at the start of London International Shipping Week.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said today that the £12 million a year budget for the government’s ‘Support for Maritime Training (SMarT)’ programme would receive a boost of up to £3 million a year, an increase of 25%, supporting up to an additional 200 trainees a year.

Government and Maritime UK also today published a booklet, ‘Open for maritime business’ showcasing the depth of expertise and history offered by the UK across a full spectrum of maritime services and ‘Strategic partnership plans for ports and shipping’. These plans identify key priorities for maintaining a vibrant, quality and sustainable shipping industry and a thriving UK ports industry. 

Kenneth MacLeod, President of the UK Chamber of Shipping said:

“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.”

Mark Brownrigg, Director-General of the UK Chamber of Shipping said:

“The Strategic Partnership Plans announced by Government today show real confidence in the maritime services sector and its continuing growth.

"We welcome the plans for shipping and ports and - through Maritime UK - are now working on the one for business services.

“Working together across Government departments is creating a new focused, joined-up approach to maritime policy and further increase the sector’s contribution to the UK economy and jobs.

“The sector is already worth up to £32bn per year to the economy and is steadily growing. The full spectrum of maritime services provides 540,000 jobs.

“The UK is at the heart of the world’s maritime business and we will continue to work with Government to build a strong future.”


About the UK Chamber of Shipping

  • 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..