DfT Seafarer Statistics 2021

Circular No: NP/050/22




Our ref: S1/1


23rd February 2022


Dear Colleagues


DfT Seafarer Statistics 2021


Further to Circular No.069 of 26th February 2021, the Department for Transport has published Seafarers in the UK Shipping Industry statistics for 2021, covering the year to 30th June 2021. The figures for Ratings are based on the UK Chamber of Shipping’s annual survey of its members.


The Government states that an increase in Catering and Hotel/OBS grades saw the total number of Ratings jobs in the UK rise by 4% (430) to 9,490. There was also a very small increase in Engine Ratings. These increases masked an alarming drop of 1,540 (40%) in Deck Ratings and only 40 Deck apprentices were taken on.


In total, the number of Ratings employed by UK Chamber of Shipping members significantly increased by 18.6% (12,940) to over 82,000 during a global pandemic. Almost all of those jobs are held by non-EEA and EEA nationals. As a result, the proportion of UK Ratings employed in the industry fell to 11.5%. Overall, the total number of UK Ratings and Officers fell 8% to 21,970. 


We continue the collective fight to reverse this pattern of decline and stagnation. The Union is maintaining parliamentary pressure for reform to the Tonnage Tax to mandate Ratings training and we continue to demand that post-Brexit laws protect all seafarers from all forms of discrimination. The Save Our Seafarers campaign will also be re-launched later this year.


The industrial knowledge and expertise of Ratings in the shipping industry is our strongest asset. If you have not already completed it, RMT’s Seafarer Survey is still open and I urge all seafarer members and their colleagues to complete it via this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7WQL7RT    


I would be grateful if you would share this update with members in your branch or region and I will keep you informed of further developments. 


Yours sincerely


Mick Lynch

General Secretary