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
- 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.
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