Minister delighted to return
The Minister returned to the exhibition for a second year and confirmed its importance to the commercial marine industry, “Seawork is one of the highlights of the maritime calendar, showcasing an industry that contributes over Â£3 billion to our economy.â€¯This event also demonstrates the range of opportunities on offer in this exciting sector. Our Maritime 2050 strategy highlights how we will continue to help ensure the industry has the talent it needs to prosper.”
Mercator Media’s CEO, Andrew Webster spoke of the growth of the event, from 84 exhibitors in 1997 to over 600 exhibitors in 2019â€¯with 70 countries now represented. He welcomed the new co-located M&CCE Expo which adds an even greater dimension to a packed three days.
Ms Ghani used her keynote speech to talk about the thriving innovations in the marine sector which is also making great gains in reducing its environmental impact.
The Conservative MP explained the government is committed to growing the maritime industry through a number of strategies, including the Maritime 2050: Navigating the Future, which provides a particular focus on diversity in the industry.
Ms Ghani spoke about the enormous contribution people working in the industry make, with the government looking to build on this success. It is working towards developing a skilled workforce, ready to take on the opportunities available, especially with younger people and those from unrepresented backgrounds. Ms Ghani talked about opportunities through apprenticeships and providing a clearer route for marine surveyors.
The minister also spoke with passion about women being underrepresented in the marine sector and on International Women’s Day in March of this year, Ms Ghani announced Â£100,000 of funding to encourage more young women to embark on a career at sea and embrace the maritime industry’s opportunities.
The minister also noted that “Innovation is key within the industry and there have been exciting leaps in the autonomous shipping sector, with the first unmanned shipping consignment delivering its very first delivery (oysters) and returning again (with beers!).”
Ms Ghani touredâ€¯the event meeting with a broad representation of theâ€¯commercial marine sector and learning more about the hugeâ€¯level of investment andâ€¯innovation, synonymous with Europe’s largest commercial marine exhibition.
The maritime industry contributes Â£37.4billion to the UK economy and directly supports an estimated 186,000 jobs. Around 95% of British imports and exports are moved by sea.