MAGAZINE: Warning over huge shortfall in young people entering UK maritime industry

A lack of information and guidance for young people on possible careers in the maritime industry will create a shortfall in years to come that could have a worrying impact on the industry and the UK economy.

Friday, 17th June 2016, 12:45 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:12 am
Shortfall in young people entering UK maritime industry

That’s according to the charity Seafarers UK that has released a report today ahead of Seafarers Awareness Week (20-26 June) which shows that the majority of young people have little or no knowledge of careers in the maritime industry.

Only 2% say they have been given careers advice about the maritime industry, compared to professional services (18%), science and engineering (21%), health sector (19%), retail (14%), construction (8%), uniformed public services such as police, fire service, paramedics (13%), media (18%), catering (8%).

When asked from the above list of careers, which they thought offered good prospects, only 1 in 20 picked the maritime industry. It’s perhaps not surprising that more than 70% have never considered a career at sea as one in three have never even been onboard a ship.

The UK maritime industry directly contributes at least £11 billion a year to the economy, while supporting over 113,000 jobs.* Approximately 70,000 people in the UK currently work at sea+, including in the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, and Fishing Fleets.

According to a recent worldwide report there is a current global shortfall of about 16,500 officers in the maritime industry, but a need for an additional 147,500 officers by 2025 to service the world merchant fleet~.

Seafarers UK believes these numbers are indicative of many new job opportunities in the industry and are calling for more guidance and education on possible career options.