Labour Market Intelligence Scoping Report

The Maritime Skills Commission´s (MSC) Labour Market Intelligence Scoping Report” identifies skill gaps within the UK maritime sector in order to better understand the needs of the sector. The report will guide the Commission’s Scheme of Work and is a core part of delivering the Department for Transport’s Maritime 2050 strategy

The Maritime Skills Commission,established by umbrella body Maritime UK and the Department for Transport in 2019, identifies the skills need in the maritime sector and provides recommendations. The Commission aims to ensure that the maritime sector has a pipeline of talented people to serve all parts of the sector covering shipping, ports, leisure marine, engineering, science and professional services.

The leisure marine sector suffer from short-term issues

The building side of the leisure marine sector is the only sector with pressing short-term issues. According to the report, the businesses have difficulty finding skilled workers, such as engineers, carpenters, port agents and people with particular technological skills (i.e. underwater welding with more unusual materials). When it comes to the other sectors, there is little evidence of recruitment difficulties which could impede business success in the short term.

Long-term issues

There is a good deal of commonality between the maritime sectors when it comes to long-term issues, such as an ageing workforce, skills requirements due to automation, Brexit, lack of engineers and attracting young talents. Regarding the latter, the report admits that current efforts to encourage young people into STEM subjects is not working. The Commission will therefore seek to better understand exactly what the issue is in different parts of the maritime sector, what employers currently do to manage this, and what else can be done to get more young people interested in STEM subjects.

Supporting actions

  • The Commission should create, maintain and provide access to an online library of labour market reports
  • The Commission should encourage others who initiate research in future to make contact at an early stage, for mutual gain
  • The Commission consider whether or not to give priority to defining the sector in statistical terms

MSC underlinesthat few parts of the maritime sector have up-to-date and comprehensive analyses on which decisions can be based. In addition,a fast-changing environment and the pandemic have overturned countless assumptions, which makes it even more difficult to provide implications of future interventions.

By Anna Lygre Solvang