JUST over a third of holders of Maritime and Coastguard Agency seafarer certification are UK nationals, with the overall number broadly stable at 42,920, according to thelatestannualstatisticsfrom the Department for Transport. UK nationals accounted for 19% of the 86,140 seafarers active at sea working for companies within the membership of the UK Chamber of Shipping, the figures also showed.

The development sparked condemnation from ratings union RMT, which argued that this proportion is declining even as the number of jobs in the industry is increasing overall.

“This is no way to prepare for a green economic recovery and these figures do not include the near 1,000 UK ratings jobs lost in the second half of the pandemic as employers ... chose to slash local seafarers’ jobs instead of furloughing these key workers,” argued RMT general secretary Mick Cash.

The number of UK certificates of competency issued was 27,400, and the number of certificates of equivalent competency 11,200. Of these certificates, some 15,370 were held by UK nationals. The majority held CoCs (13,270), with a further 1,710 holding yacht certificates, 300 holding tug and inshore craft certificates and 90 holding CECs. There has been an overall downward trend in the number of UK seafarers over the past 15 years. However, between 2012 and 2020 numbers have been broadly stable. An estimated 22,970 UK seafarers were active at sea in 2020. These included 11,050 certificated officers, 1,210 uncertificated officers and 9,060 ratings, with a further 1,660 officer cadets in training at sea in the 2019/20 financial year. The number of non-UK nationals with valid CECs has been stable since 2018, with 11,115 of these seafarers in 2020. Together, Polish, Filipino, Ukrainian, Russian and Romanian nationals accounted for around 57% of non-UK officers holding UK CECs.

Source : Lloydslist