The government is on the hunt for a chair to steer the first skills taskforce for the UK’s shipbuilding industry.
A refreshed cross-government National Shipping Strategy was launched on Thursday and includes a commitment for the Department for Education to develop a skills strategy for the sector, which currently support 42,600 jobs.
The taskforce will last for 18 months and aims to build a picture of the industry’s skills needs and provide solutions to skills shortages – particularly those related to new and emerging technologies and zero-emissions shipping.
There are currently 16 apprenticeships available for the maritime industry. There are also a number of level 3 qualifications for the sector, as well as traineeships.
The taskforce will explore what other courses are needed to supplement the existing offer.
Skills minister Alex Burghart said: “We are looking for a chair and members for our new taskforce that will supercharge the shipbuilding industry, bringing together experts who will work together to develop a plan to plug skills gaps and get more people into rewarding jobs.”
The taskforce will work with the Ministry of Defence, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport to “optimise the available skills funding and opportunities for shipbuilding”, a DfE spokesperson said.
Applications for a chair and members of the taskforce with experience in shipbuilding opened on March 10 and close on April 17.
The chair would be expected to commit three days per month to taskforce activities, and members up to two days per month. The roles are unpaid.