Two pupils operating a remote control boat at Powerboat Challenge 2022

Maritime UK Solent shortlisted for prestigious Future Skills award

Maritime UK Solent has been shortlisted in the Future Skills category of the national Maritime UK Awards.

The awards, set to be held at Titanic Belfast on Wednesday, 5th June 2024, are open to all maritime businesses, charities, and organisations to celebrate the achievements and success stories of this vital sector for the UK economy. The Future Skills category recognises those that have made a tangible contribution to meeting the future skills needs of the sector, including matching available skills to the emerging and future requirements of the industry.

Stuart Baker, Managing Director of Maritime UK Solent, said: “Our mission is to ‘Lead, Champion and Grow,’ providing positive leadership for the sector and raising the profile of the Solent.

“We strive to offer a compelling value proposition that attracts new investment, boosts productivity, and creates the essential jobs and skills the sector needs to succeed. We are committed to ensuring that school and college career programmes accurately reflect the dynamic nature of local maritime opportunities, providing a wholly independent programme that promotes the breadth of the sector without favouritism.”

“We bridge the gap between education, academia, and industry by offering high-quality, regular, and impactful activities that have significant visibility and impact. Recognising the need for a strong, diverse talent pipeline—especially as the industry moves towards Net Zero—we believe that we are uniquely positioned to attract and cultivate new talent essential for the future of maritime.”

“I’d like to highlight the work of Lorna Wagner, who’s energy and passion for maritime skills has resulted in us being shortlisted for this Award.  Her enthusiasm and determination to connect industry and education will have a lasting positive legacy.”

Leading an industry that contributes £7.7 billion to the local economy and boasts more than 1,000 in its network, Maritime UK Solent has spearheaded numerous influential campaigns throughout the region to address critical skills needs.

Notable initiatives include the creation of the Career Partners Group with 32 industry representatives to strengthen the impact of shared careers and outreach activities. The organisation also consistently updates maritime careers information, offers CPD opportunities to teachers, tutors, careers advisers and leaders, promotes and supports the Industry Ambassadors network made up of maritime professionals who volunteer to attend school and college careers events and has promoted the availability of maritime site visits for children at 102 schools and colleges, reaching approximately 130,000 young people in partnership with the Solent Careers Hub.

Maritime UK Solent has hosted a Maritime Careers Summit at Solent University with 62 career leaders, 16 employers, and training providers in attendance. It has partnered with the Seawork Trade Show and the Southampton International Boat Show to organise career days and has collaborated with Cowes Enterprise College to promote the Maritime Futures programme regionally and nationally.

The organisation has also assisted the Portsmouth Sail Training Trust with the planning, promotion, and delivery of their inaugural careers day. The event was attended by 43 children from disadvantaged backgrounds, 24 industry partners, two further education college groups, and eight careers professionals, all aimed at boosting maritime aspirations. Maritime UK Solent has also supported The Wellington Trust in planning and delivering residential maritime careers exploration visits funded by Trinity House for disadvantaged young people in the Solent.

Maritime UK Solent joins a number of key businesses representing the area that have also been shortlisted across eight of the 12 categories, including Robosys Automation, Just Be Maritime, Carnival UK (P&O Cruises & Cunard) BAE Systems, Nash Maritime Ltd, GT Green Technologies, and Portsmouth International Port.

Stuart continued: “We are incredibly proud to be part of a strong cohort of businesses representing the area, driving forward the maritime sector with innovation, dedication, and the skills it needs for future growth. We wish them all the best of luck.

“For Maritime UK Solent, winning this prestigious award would recognise the substantial efforts and quality of work we deliver and coordinate with our industry partners in developing careers, outreach, and future skills.

“By making career influencers more aware of the maritime sector, we can open new doors, bringing together the right stakeholders to create effective programmes and offering our young people bright and exciting career opportunities.”

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