UK Chamber welcomes recommendations of SMarT review

The Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) scheme has been appraised by a newly published independent review, the findings of which have been welcomed by the UK Chamber of Shipping.

If implemented, the recommendations would make UK seafarers more competitive with the international workforce, the chamber said.

The SMarT review found the scheme provides good value for money and should be retained. The UK Chamber welcomed the report’s suggestion that the funding level should be increased in order for UK training to be more competitive with that provided in other European countries.

The chamber has also welcomed the report’s recommendations that per-capita funding for rating trainees should be increased, and that funding should be provided to enable junior ratings to progress to more senior levels. Such increases could incentivise more companies to invest in UK ratings, the UK Chamber said.

The SMarT review also recommends that structural changes be made to how payments are provided to training providers, which also met with favour from the organisation.

“The UK Chamber welcomes the recommendation that the Government give a long-term commitment to SMarT funding,” comments Tim Springett, the chamber’s policy director, employment and legal. “This will assist employers greatly in devising their crew training and employment strategies and give greater certainty to maritime education and training institutions when making decisions on infrastructure investments.

“The UK Chamber calls upon the Government to implement these recommendations at the earliest opportunity,” he said.

The review’s recommendation that SMarT funding be increased would also lend support to the SMarT Plus proposal, made by the UK Chamber and Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB), with support from Nautilus International.

SMarT Plus would see a doubling of SMarT funding for officers who, on completion of their cadetships, are offered employment by the company that has sponsored their training and go on to attain their senior level Certificate of Competency (CoC). 

“This proposal is designed to increase not only the numbers embarking on officer training but also the number attaining the highest levels on board – since individuals with senior-level certificates are those in greatest demand both at sea and in the UK’s maritime cluster ashore,” commented Tim Springett.

  • The SMarT review was commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) and conducted by Frazer-Nash Consultancy and Oxford Economics. The report can be viewed online here

Sign up to the UK Chamber's Daily Briefing to receive stories like this - and more - direct to your inbox every day. 

For more information contact:

Tim Springett

Policy Director - Employment and Legal

020 7417 2820 / 07941 713465