6 April 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT welcomes introduction of apprenticeship levy across UK maritime industry.
Maritime union RMT has welcomed the potential benefits for the UK maritime industry of the apprenticeship levy which kicks in today and has urged employers on the UK shipping register to seize the opportunity to train up a next generation of skilled workers in the sector on decent pay and conditions.
The union is running a campaign – SOS2020 – aimed at highlighting the abusive employment practices across the shipping industry and the need for the UK to commit to a programme for the long term recovery of seafarer jobs and skills.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said:
“After five years in the making, we welcome the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy which will provide a clear route to training the next generation of workers that the UK needs across the transport sector.
“There is an acute need to train UK seafarers, particularly Ratings to meet forecast increases in demand over the next decade. If the UK shipping industry again fails to take up another state sponsored incentive to train UK seafarers, we risk a maritime skills deficit coinciding with a slew of post-Brexit international trade deals.
“The industry can no longer hide behind offshore payroll arrangements and employers need to use the Levy and the new set of Maritime Apprenticeships to commit now to the long term recovery of UK seafarer jobs and skills.”
Steve Todd, National Secretary of RMT commented:
“RMT have worked with employers and maritime colleges on the Maritime Trailblazer Working Group to develop a new set of Rating Apprenticeships which will benefit from Apprenticeship Levy funding. A Deck Rating apprenticeship is available now and a recent Government report estimated that the number of UK deck ratings in training today will have to increase three-fold to meet future demand.
“Apprenticeships for Ratings in Engine, Catering and Hospitality are close to introduction. Increasing Maritime Apprenticeships are supported by the Government’s Maritime Growth Study and RMT urge all employers on the UK Ship Register and across the UK shipping industry to take up Rating Apprenticeships as a matter of urgency.”
Note to editors:
1. The Apprentice Levy comes into effect on 6th April 2017 and will cover all employers in the UK, public and private, regardless of sector, with annual pay bills over £3m.
2. The Levy rate will be 0.5% of an employer’s paybill and the taxpayer will add 10p for every £1 paid by an employer into the Levy.
3. For firms that don’t pay the Levy, Government will pay 90% of apprentice costs and the employer will pay the remainder.
4. All firms will get an incentive of £1,000 from the taxpayer to recruit apprentices aged 16-18.
5. For company groups, HMRC will treat individual companies as part of the bigger group for Levy purposes to prevent avoidance.