Eligible sailors will now receive half of their paid training, representing a true investment in the future of maritime and ensuring future growth.
Previously, the subsidy was 30% but increases to 50% for all new and existing tonnage tax groups and Support for Marine Training (SMarT) funding. This now means shipping companies can take advantage of £13million in extra funding to hire and train cadets.
The DfT and HMT have increased the subsidy on the costs of training cadets and qualifications – which companies can obtain as part of their tonnage tax – to 50% from the current level of 30% for all groups of new and existing tonnage taxation and seafarers funded by SMarT.
The new measures complement the UK Government’s commitment to protect and support seafarers, as announced in the Seafarers’ Nine Point Plan, which pledges to improve longer-term working conditions for seafarers. seafarers as part of a wider vision to enhance the protection and welfare of seafarers. This includes the Seafarers’ Wages Bill which will ensure that seafarers working on ships that regularly use UK ports receive at least a rate equivalent to the national minimum wage when in UK territorial waters.
This increase in Cadet and Qualifications Training Grants does just that and underlines the UK Government’s desire to develop and support the UK’s population of highly skilled seafarers to meet UK and global needs.
The extra money means there will be up to £20m available this year, rising to £23m next time around.
Funding for eligible seafarers is available this year and will be locked in until at least September 2024, providing incentive and financial security for those wishing to embark on a career in the maritime sector.
The increased grant rate will be available to any seafarer who meets the requirements and is studying at a college approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for an academic qualification leading to the issue of an unlimited certificate of competency in the UK .
Secretary of State Grant Shapps said:
Our incredible shipping industry is built by the thousands of workers who keep our shelves stacked every day and are responsible for 95% of all UK freight.
This funding will be essential to help people develop their skills, build careers in the sector and build a strong maritime sector for years to come.
Damien Oliver Commercial, Programs & Maritime Business Development Director said:
This is an important step in investing in the future of the seafarer and our seafarers. These changes now mean that more funds are available to support seafarers in their training. We are also considering additional support for those who have already achieved a qualification so that they can progress to the next supported by additional funding. We will do all we can to encourage and support people in this industry which does so much to support our daily lives in the UK.
These changes will cover an interim period from April 2022 to September 2024. A new UK training system is then expected to be implemented, as recommended by the Maritime Skills Commission 2020 report.