Press Releases

The UK’s massive maritime sector needs thousands of people for jobs that don’t exist yet!

Seafarers Awareness Week highlights that there’s so much more to maritime than most people realise and has all the information about employment opportunities

The charity Seafarers UK is raising awareness of the enormous variety of employment opportunities across the maritime sector and the hidden value of the industry to the UK, as part of Seafarers Awareness Week (23-30 June 2018).

This year, the campaign is working with maritime companies and organisations across the country to highlight individual employees, their specific jobs, their career path and advice they can offer to a young person today considering working in this vital industry.

Engineering is a particular focus this year. The Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Merchant Navy are all struggling to recruit people for engineering related roles and 2018 has been designated ‘Year of Engineering’ by the UK Government.

‘The global ocean economy is expected to double in size to $3 trillion over the next twelve years, and for an island nation with a long maritime history, that means extraordinary opportunities for young people across the UK’ says Commodore Barry Bryant CVO RN, Director General of Seafarers UK.

‘There are so many opportunities in the maritime sector, and there’s so much more to maritime than most people realise’ he adds. 95% of our imports arrive by ship. In the UK alone, 65 million passengers and 500 million tonnes of cargo move through the country’s ports every year. The UK maritime industry is significantly bigger (£47 billion) than aerospace, pharmaceutical and road freight combined (£29.5 billion).

London is still the world’s centre for maritime business – everything from maritime insurance and ship broking to finance and maritime lawyers – contributing more than £2 billion a year to the economy.

Many of the UK’s 120,000 seafarers are highly sought after all around the world, as the skills they acquire in their training and work experience make them extremely valuable in a competitive industry. And these days most seafarers don’t spend their whole lives at sea, with many coming ashore after fewer than 10 years and finding numerous jobs in a wide variety of maritime and marine sectors.

Commodore Bryant adds: ‘The pace of technological change today is so dramatic that teachers are undoubtedly preparing children for roles that don’t exist yet. Fifty years ago the shipping container ‘box’ was invented. It could be moved by rail or road and simply loaded and unloaded off a ship like a giant LEGO block. It revolutionised global trade.’

‘Who knows what the next fifty years holds for the industry? Advanced technology, autonomy and robotics, greater care for the environment, cyber security, and marine science will certainly all be key drivers. The maritime industry genuinely needs bright enthusiastic people looking for rewarding, varied and exciting career opportunities.’

Companies and organisations around the UK are promoting maritime employment opportunities to highlight the importance of the sector as part of Seafarers Awareness Week – see

The not-for-profit industry website provides information on many of the jobs and career pathways available across the maritime sector.

Photo: Commodore Barry Bryant CVO RN, Director General, Seafarers UK


Notes for Editors

Seafarers Awareness Week (23-30 June 2018)
Seafarers Awareness Week is coordinated by the charity Seafarers UK, in 2018 to promote UK maritime employment opportunities. A wide range of associations, organisations, businesses and charities in the UK maritime sector support the Seafarers Awareness Week campaign.

Seafarers UK
Seafarers UK is a charity that has been helping people in the maritime community for 100 years, by providing vital support to seafarers in need and their families. Last year the charity gave grants totalling £3.17 million to more than 60 maritime welfare charities. 

Maritime UK
Maritime UK is the UK maritime industry’s lead promotional body. It is the focal point for information about maritime jobs at sea and ashore.

For more information please contact:
Nick Harvey, Campaigns Manager, Seafarers UK; email; phone 020 7932 5969; mobile 07910 593588.

Maritime Jobs at Sea and Ashore to Headline Seafarers Awareness Week (23-30 June)

The UK’s diverse maritime industries support just under one million jobs and contribute £40 billion to UK GDP (Gross Domestic Product).  That’s the trigger for this year’s Seafarers Awareness Week in June to promote maritime employment opportunities at sea and ashore.

Coordinated by Seafarers UK – the charity that for 100 years has encouraged British people to be trained to work at sea or serve in the Royal Navy – Seafarers Awareness Week was started in 2010 to raise public awareness of our island nation’s reliance on seafarers and shipping for 95% of imports including half the food we eat and a huge volume of essential fuel.

This year Seafarers UK is working with the industry promotional body Maritime UK to signpost wide-ranging information on maritime jobs to careers advisers, teachers and parents of young people in education, including those studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. See

Campaign coordinator Nick Harvey said: ‘The Merchant Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Royal Navy currently have a serious shortage of suitably skilled engineers. We need school leavers to appreciate that there are many well-paid jobs to be had not just at sea, but also ashore.’

‘The UK’s maritime industry is larger than many others that are better known and working harder to attract talented young people. Maritime UK brings together the UK’s shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine industries to promote the whole sector.’

‘Seafarers Awareness Week provides a focal point for the promotion of jobs for men and women, in the UK and further afield, in an exciting industry that is key to the success of the UK as an internationally trading nation.’



Further media information is available from Nick Harvey, Campaigns Manager, Seafarers UK, phone 020 7932 5969, mobile 07910 593588, email