Maritime UK rolls out green skills project to support decarbonisation

Maritime UK has launched a new green skills project to help ensure that the maritime industries have the skills required to enable its decarbonisation. 

The project kick starts with the appointment of Kit Williams to coordinate the delivery of recommendations from the Maritime Skills Commission’s (MSC) Skills for Green Jobs Position Paper. It is being delivered through a partnership between the MSC and Cornwall Marine Network (CMN).

“Green jobs are crucial in supporting the transition to net zero and in creating a sustainable future. We are delighted with the appointment of Kit as the Green Skills Sustainability Manager and look forward to working with him as the project seeks to ensure that maritime has the skills required to enable its decarbonisation,” Sarah Kenny, Chair, Maritime UK, said.

The MSC was established in July 2020 to ensure that the maritime sector attracts a pipeline of talented people to serve all parts of the sector covering shipping, ports, leisure marine, engineering, science, and professional services. Comprising of 19 commissioners, the MSC has been tasked to deliver against seven main objectives which are aimed towards strengthening skills and employability in the UK maritime sector.

Meanwhile, CMN was established in 2002 by local marine businesses. Currently owned by over 300 local marine businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the organisation helps to give identity and increase economic prosperity in the local maritime sector.

In June 2022, the DfT provided a grant to part-fund the new role which will coordinate the delivery of the recommendations outlined in the MSC’s Skills for Green Jobs Position Paper and ensure maritime has the skills it needs to transition to net zero.

Specifically, in the position paper the MSC committed to ensuring that green skills are embedded into all activities, rather than separating them from the rest of the work.

“The post will ensure stakeholders from across the maritime sector are engaged in a series of workshops as well as facilitating continued collaboration with regional maritime clusters and intermediary organisations to create greater transparency and assist with local ownership of the skills agenda,” according to Maritime UK.

Research has estimated that the UK maritime sector will create over 1.7 million new green and full-time equivalent roles by 2030. It is also indicated that 900,000 to 1.3 million of these positions will be directly related to energy efficiency and low-carbon heating.

The remainder of these roles will be established by developing pre-existing jobs into greener ones. The future of these green jobs will be highlighted through Green Careers Week from 7-12 November 2022.

As many as 800,000 seafarers will require additional training by the mid-2030s to enable the shipping industry to transition towards alternative low- and zero-carbon fuels and technologies with the aim of keeping global warming to 1.5C or less by 2050, a DNV study shows.

The research was conducted by maritime consultancy DNV and commissioned by the Maritime Just Transition Task Force Secretariat, formed to ensure that shipping’s response to the climate emergency puts seafarers and communities at the heart of the solution.

Findings also suggest that a lack of certainty on alternative fuel options is having knock-on effects on seafarer training, as the global maritime community works towards a clearer decarbonization pathway in a post-fossil fuel era. 

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