New business-backed careers programme addresses skills gap in maritime and transport industries

A new careers programme, the Maritime Transport Careers Programme (MTCP), launched yesterday at the Business South Annual Conference to help address the skills gap in the maritime and transport industries in the Central South.

Created by Solent Partners (formerly Solent LEP) and members of the Maritime Transport Action Group (MTAG), one of Business South’s action groups, the programme will highlight the wide variety of jobs available in the area and help attract a new influx of talent to future-proof the industry.

The programme has been funded by members of the Maritime & Transport Action Group (MTAG) and Maritime UK and is the first time that the private sector has funded a programme of this nature. The group represents a broad range of businesses including Isle of Wight ferry company Red Funnel, Meachers Global Logistics, ABP Ports, Portsmouth International Port, Williams Shipping and Southampton Airport.

A dedicated Engagement Officer, Katie Bruce, who has 16 years’ experience in the careers industry, has been appointed to run the careers programme and highlight the long-term career opportunities available to people in the area who typically have not considered a career in these sectors, from school leavers, to returners, or those looking for a change in profession.

Katie Bruce, engagement officer for the Maritime Transport Careers Programme, said: “We are excited to bring together some of the region’s top businesses to help address the current skills gap.

“By working together, we will highlight the fantastic range of opportunities that are available in the maritime and transport industries in our area. There are so many fulfilling, flexible, and long-term opportunities no matter what background you come from.”

Katie will be meeting with employers, schools and colleges, as well as connecting job seekers and education leavers with the biggest businesses in the Central South in the maritime and transport industries.

Gary Whittle, commercial director at Meachers Global Logistics, and Vice Chair of MTAG, commented: “Traditionally, our industries have been seen as male-dominated or lacking in diversity – perceptions we want to change and make sure that the local workforce is aware of all the different roles and opportunities available, whether they are just starting out after school, or experienced professionals looking for a new challenge.”

Leigh-Sara Timberlake, Group CEO Business South, said: “It is gratifying to see an idea that was born in the Maritime & Transport Action Group come to fruition in such a positive way.

“We hope this project will lead to greater awareness of the vital jobs that are available in marine and transport in our region. I’m sure this will be the first of many such projects and our pioneering spirit led by Gary Whittle and the other members of MTAG should be applauded.”

The MTCP has launched a new website to support its activity, which will act as a central hub, providing news of events and linking to the businesses involved with the programme.

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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