‘Support boat-building’, BM tells Government
THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS to make the marine sector a core part of its Industrial Strategy, says national industry body British Marine, which believes that an inability to recruit skilled workers is holding back boatbuilding, repair and equipment manufacture.
According to BM’s figures, the total marine sector now employs 31,600 people in 4,500 businesses, having increased by 2.7 percent year on year, and with further growth of two percent predicted for the current year.
But newly published statistics announced at the organisation’s recent Southampton Boat Show indicate that 30 percent of companies have identified “critical skills gaps that are holding their business back”, with lack of technical training (for example in engineering) seen as an obstacle to 74 percent of marine businesses (compared to 41 percent average across all industries). And one in three companies feels that competition from other industries is making recruitment harder.
BM’s Chief Executive Howard Pridding said that the industry was “dynamic and growing” but called upon the Government to do more to back the industry.
Meanwhile, BM has launched a new video aimed at 10- to 15-year-olds to inspire them to take up a marine industry career.