Maritime UK publishes sector recovery plan

Maritime UK sets out wish list to new PM Johnson 
Harry Theochari


Maritime UK has published its Sector Recovery Plan, having written the document with its trade association and regional cluster members.

The plan sets out joint action for both industry and government across the three stages of recovery from the coronavirus crisis: restart, recover, renew.

The Recovery Plan was tabled at Tuesday’s first meeting of the Department for Transport’s Restart and Recovery Working Group and Maritime UK is briefing Ministers and Shadow Ministers on the Plan. Later week meetings were held with the Shadow Universities Minister and Shadow Maritime Minister.

Tuesday also saw the Exports Minister, Graham Stuart MP, joining Maritime UK for the first event in the ‘Global Trade Outlook Series’ with Western Union. The series is designed to support companies restart their international business development activities by providing insight from Oxford Economics and Western Union’s analysts.

The Maritime Sector Recovery Plan identifies the following priorities:

Environment – Drive green growth to meet the UK’s net-zero commitments.

Regional growth – Ensure a regionally balanced recovery that stimulates economic development in coastal communities.

People – Enrich our workforce and recognise how Coronavirus has changed both working practices and projected labour market forecasts.

Innovation – Foster increased levels of research and innovation to respond to the significant challenges and opportunities the global maritime sector faces.

Competitiveness – Boost exports and maximise the attractiveness of the UK’s business environment.

Harry Theochari, Maritime UK Chair, said:

“It is vital that government and industry work together to get all parts of the sector back on their feet and operating as soon as possible. Doing so will not only benefit one of Britain’s largest industrial sectors but particularly the coastal communities in which maritime supports significant economic activity.

“Whilst some parts of the sector are getting back to business, others will be unable to do so for a substantial period of time, either due to compliance with government policy or due to the seasonality of the trade. Indeed, some parts of the sector are only now entering their most depressed period.

“We are committed to working with government to ensure the viability and profitability of our businesses as we move through the crisis. Such a significant economic shock to the economy will, however, require deep thinking about what has changed, how we adapt, and respond. It is also a moment to think about the kind of country and economy that we want to build, rather than simply rebuilding what we had before. That, coupled with the major grand challenges our sector faces, presents us with choices.

“The maritime sector is well-placed to drive a green, regionally balanced, export-led recovery, and this Sector Recovery Plan sets out actions for both industry and government to get us there.

“With every challenge comes opportunity, and it is the intention of the maritime sector to grasp that opportunity.”