‘Sup­port boat-build­ing’, BM tells Govern­ment

Canal Boat - - News -

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.

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