Success at the House of Commons 2012
Mon, 22 October 2012
The Association’s annual lunch at the House of Commons was yet another successful event attracting members and Government departments alike.
Speaking at the event MP Michael Fallon, the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills further emphasised his support for the UK Marine industry, he said “I was pleased on only my second day in this job to go to the SMM exhibition in Hamburg. It was there that I had the opportunity to talk to Ash over dinner and learn about the sector.
In Hamburg I saw first hand the breadth of UK companies involved in the sector, and the high level of design and engineering expertise focused on global markets.
We have strong foundations to grow from. The UK has an excellent reputation for naval ships, marine equipment systems, leisure craft, ship repair and offshore renewable energy. The sector is important to the UK economy as its five thousand companies contribute nearly £3.5 billion Gross Value Added to the nation’s GDP, and employs ninety thousand people. If we add marine industries and maritime services, like shipping, ports and business services, the Gross Value Added stands at £17 billion pounds.
Our strategy document states “greater cooperation across the marine and maritime sectors could see their value to the UK economy rise to £25 billion a year by 2020”. If we are to grow the sector as a whole we need to join forces.
The strategy has five growth themes, which we are now focusing on delivering:
1. development and promotion of the sector through a unified voice;
2. support for exports in key international markets;
3. increased investment in marine research;
4. greater focus on skills development and to increase the number of apprenticeships;
5. positioning the UK to take advantage of opportunities created by international regulations.
I am pleased to report that we are making progress. Here are just 3 points:
• An export strategy is being produced by UKTI and industry. We aim to double our exports.
• The industry has tasked Oxford Economics to produce statistics for the marine and maritime industries, which should be available in January 2013.
• Secured £8 million funding from the Technology Strategy Board for innovation. Innovation is key and this will fund a collaborative research competition into increasing vessel efficiency”.
Speaking at the Lunch, the newly elected SSA President Mr Ted McEntee thanked the minster on behalf of the industry and for his support and reaffirmed the SSA’s ethos in providing business support through increased national and international exposure for our members and the development of innovative solutions to meet industry challenges.