A major report examining how to maximise Britain’s potential as a maritime nation was published yesterday (7 September 2015), marking the first day of London International Shipping Week 2015.
The study led by Lord Mountevans, Chairman of Maritime UK, examined how Britain can build on the success of an industry that contributes at least £11 billion to the UK economy annually and supports more than 113,000 jobs and 6,600 businesses.
Recommendations in the study include:
- the establishment of a ministerial working group in government to drive forward action on maritime issues, set clear targets and monitor progress
- creating a new standalone unit within the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to focus on attracting more ships to be British registered and fly the Red Ensign
- government and industry to develop a joint strategy to identify skills gaps and increase apprenticeships in the UK maritime sector and increase apprenticeships
- the creation of a single industry body to promote the UK maritime sector to international markets
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
“London International Shipping Week is an opportunity to remind the world of the benefits Britain offers, whether it’s our world-leading ports, maritime business services or skilled workforce. We are determined to grow our share of the global maritime sector, helping talented people find careers in its industries and attracting companies to do business in the UK.
“Our maritime history is something Britain can be proud of, but the sector is taking us into the future. I want Britain to feel the benefit of its international reputation by driving economic growth and increasing jobs. We have already seen millions invested in the UK, including at London Gateway and Liverpool – demonstrating the central place Britain already holds in the industry.
“I thank the chair who has produced an important piece of work and look forward to working with industry to ensure we do all we can to keep Britain a great maritime nation.”
Chair of the Maritime Growth Study Lord Mountevans said:
“I am a passionate believer in the importance of the maritime sector to our island trading nation, and very aware of the reliance of the rest of the world on our diverse maritime cluster.
“This report is the culmination of months of work involving widespread engagement and detailed research. I am very grateful to all those who have engaged in the study.
“The result is a ‘call to arms’ to industry and government to actively support and raise the profile of a vital sector that contributes significantly to the economy and which the nation relies on to meet its daily needs.”
The report launches London International Shipping Week 2015, which runs from 7 to 11 September. The shipping world will be visiting the capital for the week with the top 200 maritime global business leaders and international decision makers in attendance to network and plan business with the UK.
DfT, Treasury, BIS, MoD and Wales Office are all promoting the UK’s maritime sector which offers world class education and training, a competitive and stable tax regime and a trusted and respected flag.
London International Shipping Week will showcase the success story of British maritime. More than 503.2 million tonnes of freight were handled by UK ports in 2014. Ministers have seen first hand how private investment in UK ports are driving development and creating jobs. Projects underway include the £300 million Liverpool2 container terminal at the Port of Liverpool which will have new berths, quays and cranes able to serve the world’s largest container vessels. London Gateway Port has received £1.5 billion investment for its huge port and logistics facilities which will directly create 12,000 full time jobs.
Highlights of the London International Shipping Week’s events include Shipping Minister Robert Goodwill opening the London Stock Exchange and No 10 Downing Street hosting a ministerial roundtable to launch the Maritime Growth Study. Later in the week, a welcome reception will be held at Lancaster House with the Transport Secretary.