BRITAIN is to extend its tonnage tax regime to include training for ratings as part of a fresh drive to promote the country’s shipping skills and maritime education facilities.
The UK will be the first in the world to include ratings in its tonnage tax commitment, Minister of State for Transport John Hayes told industry leaders at the launch of a pamphlet detailing the depth and range of training available.
As part of a pilot scheme, companies covered by UK tonnage tax will be allowed to train three ratings in place of one cadet from next October.
The UK also wants to showcase both the expertise across all sectors of the maritime industry that exists today, thanks to the many world-class maritime colleges and training schemes, and the revenue they earn by attracting students from overseas.
At a reception in Trinity House, Maritime UK chairman and Clarksons director Jeffrey Evans said there was a continued need for new talent in a rejuvenated industry to ensure that Britain was able to maintain its position as a pre-eminent maritime nation able to offer services ranging from shipbroking, marine insurance and classification to ship finance, arbitration and vessel operations.
Those sentiments were echoed by Mr Hayes, who said one of the sector’s greatest assets was its workforce, “trained at Britain’s prestigious maritime education institutions”.
The government is now helping to build on that by finding schemes to support seafarer training and apprenticeships across a range of maritime occupations.
The Open for Maritime Skills pamphlet is the second in a series, following last year’s successful Open for Maritime Business document which was launched by the Prime Minister and Transport Secretary during London International Shipping Week.
The new pamphlet will promoted to everyone from global chief executives to local careers offices, drawing attention to the clear link between the two.
The UK Chamber of Shipping welcomed the latest initiative to promote the country’s skills base.
No company can succeed without a constant flow of new talent, and the UK has the most advanced provision of training and education to help provide that new talent, the association said.
“As a former seafarer, I know how important high quality training is to the success of the industry,” said UK Chamber chief executive Guy Platten following the launch.
“Open for Maritime Skills is another sign of how closely the industry and government is working together.
“There is a global shortage of seafarers, and that shortage will deepen as global seatrade increases dramatically over the forthcoming decades. The UK is well placed to bridge the gap and take advantage.”
Source: Lloyds List
17th November 2014