The Government has announced that it will double the amount of funding for maritime education and training from £15 million to £30 million over a seven-year period.
Announcing the funding increase, which will enable the seafarer cadet intake to increase from 750 to 1,200 each year, Shipping Minister Nusrat Ghani MP said:
"I am proud that the United Kingdom has one of the most vibrant and competitive maritime sectors in the world. We are an outward-looking, global trading maritime nation proud of our maritime history but forward looking and ambitious for our future.
"Our success though relies above all else on our workforce. The United Kingdom is recognised all over the world for its leading maritime education and training and for the very best seafarers that are produced. Our well-trained and skilled cadets are responsible for many of our vital needs bringing them efficiently and safely to our shores."
The increase follows an independent review of its Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) scheme carried out by Frazer-Nash Consultancy.
Frazer-Nash's review found that for every £1 the government spend on the SMarT scheme there was a £4.8 return to UK GDP. Research undertaken for the report included economic modelling and analysis, literature reviews and discussions with diverse groups of key stakeholders. It also considered the strategic context of SMarT funding within the shipping industry, including factors such as UK tonnage tax, global competition and international labour and training issues.
Find out more about Frazer-Nash's review of the SMarT scheme here.
The Minister stressed the government's commitment to building capacity and diversity within the maritime workforce, so that it can capitalise on market opportunity. She also recognised the transferable skills that seafarers bring to the wider maritime sector when they return from sea to shore-based careers.
The funding will be available from April 2018, and aims to support the Year of Engineering though stimulating the availability of training opportunities for deck, engine and electro-technical cadets.
Read the Shipping Minister's speech here.