National Secretary Steve Todd said: “RMT welcome any increase in jobs for UK seafarers but this is no time for the industry and Government to start patting themselves on the back. Make no mistake, the headline figure may be a 5% increase but overall UK Ratings again lost out in 2015 and the position for ratings remains desperate. Government needs to get its finger out and compel industry to use the Tonnage Tax scheme and new maritime apprenticeships to sign up the next generation of UK ratings in deck, engine, catering and onboard services.
“The UK cannot afford to lose the expertise of deck and engine ratings that still work in the industry just because the Government does not have the gumption to get a grip on low cost operators like Condor and Irish Ferries. We must see UK ratings retained, employed and trained in greater numbers than we have seen so far this century otherwise we will continue to lose jobs and the vital links between seafaring skills and economic and national security.”
General Secretary, Mick Cash commented: “This figure may buck the trend of constant falling numbers of Ratings but the Government and industry will have to do a whole lot more to build on this modest and unbalanced increase to avoid a record of neglect of UK seafarers. RMT remains committed to increasing training and employment of UK Ratings but the industry must stop side-stepping policies such as the new link to Ratings training through the Tonnage Tax if the slight increase over 2015 is going to lead to a balanced and sustained revival in UK Ratings’ employment and skills.
“The overall decline in UK seafarer numbers in recent years continues to damage seafarer communities, employment standards and the national maritime skills base. RMT will no longer stand for industry setting the agenda and will continue to call this Government out on its failure to protect UK seafarers’ jobs from unfair competition in an industry addicted to cheap labour, flags of convenience and undermining UK employment and equality legislation.”
Julian Bray, Cruise Industry commentator adds: In reality, the UK has lost out on the worldwide boom enjoyed by the Cruise Industry over the last decade, we no longer have viable wholly under cover shipyards for the mega cruise ships of today or the technical skills to design, fabricate and roll-out ready to work ships in less than 18 months. Royal Caribbean projects, from initial concept to the maiden voyage are all completed with 18 months. For how many years has the UK been building a couple of aircraft carriers?
Notes to editors
The Department for Transport’s Annual Seafarer Statistics can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/seafarer-statistics-2015
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Aviation Expert, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 (ALL CODECS) e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 iPhone 0743 530 3145 www.aviationcomment.com Contrib. Account #104764 53 FEED: http://feeds.feedburner.com/BraysDuckhouseBlog