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Shipping: Merchant Navy

Volume 687: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What levels of support and encouragement are available to those seeking to enter a career as officers in the Merchant Navy. [HL178]

Recruitment is a matter for the shipping companies themselves. A dedicated industry body, the Merchant Navy Training Board, actively promotes officer training, and the Department for Transport gives financial assistance to training providers through the support for maritime training scheme (SMarT), for the training of officers and ratings. The support available under SMarT at present amounts to roughly 50 per cent of the cost of training provided by maritime colleges. The tonnage tax features a minimum training obligation, which requires each shipping company entering the scheme to recruit and train one officer trainee each year for every 15 officer posts in its fleet.