Marine sector skills council launches skills blueprint for expanding business opportunities

A skills blueprint for the UK’s marine industry has been launched by the sector’s skills council Semta.

The Marine Sector Skills Agreement is the culmination of an in-depth analysis of the sector and detailed consultation with a broad range of marine representatives over the past three years. It sets out the skills the marine sector needs to sustain growth and competitiveness in the years ahead.

The sector directly employs 57,000 people in building ships and boats, along with marine equipment supply and is worth £1.9bn a year to the UK economy.

The agreement envisages a decade of growth in the sector with the government’s £9.5bn spend on new warships and the expansion in the leisure boat building and repair yards. It forecasts an extra 4,000 jobs will be needed in the naval yards in the next five years as the warships work approaches its peak, and an extra 1,000 craft workers will be needed to build boats.

The new agreement has the backing of the 24-strong Marine Sector Strategy Group, whose membership includes employers, professional associations and trade unions.

Rachel Tonucci, a member of the group and head of organisation and capability development at BAE Systems Submarines, said: “The agreement will continue to develop best practice for the sector’s training and developmental requirements, allowing companies to share and benefit from each others’ experiences and apply best practice in their own organisations.”

Lynn Tomkins, Semta’s director of operations, said: “We hope [the agreement] will be a skills map that will enable employers to take advantage of an expanding market by accessing high-quality training and education to deliver the skills that will keep the UK at the cutting edge of technology.”

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