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Seafarers’ Mental Health To Be Supported By £2.4m Funding

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Credit: John Simmons, Unsplash
Maritime Minister Robert Courts has announced government funding for three organisations to support projects developing seafarers’ wellbeing and maritime skills, diversity, and careers. Quadrant Transport investigates how the funding will benefit the maritime industry.

After announcing the government funding news at the Mersey Maritime Exchange in Liverpool, Maritime Minister Robert Courts outlined how the funding will support a review of ‘ratings’ training to highlight seafarers’ mental health.

Including roles such as the deck, engine room, hospitality, and catering in the maritime industry, the training will be carried out by Maritime Skills Commission.

It will see £2.4 million help to support green skills, alleviate seafarers’ mental health issues and work towards the maritime 2050 ambition to widen the diversity of the sector.

In addition to this, the funding aims to support the sector to create a highly-skilled, well-supported workforce that people from all backgrounds want to join.

Seafarers’ Mental Health Is At The Heart Of Maritime 2050 Agenda

As reported by the UK Health and Safety Executive, in the period 2017/2018, of the 30.7 million working days lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries (Labour Force Survey), 15.4 million were related to stress, depression or anxiety.

Seafarers’ welfare and mental health is a serious issue and is recognised in the UK government’s Maritime 2050 report. The challenges have exposed a need to better understand welfare issues for seafarers and the paucity of facilities and other support available when needed.

Maritime Minister Robert Courts said: “Seafarer wellbeing is at the heart of our Maritime 2050 agenda, and we know that mental health difficulties at sea affect thousands of seafarers. We are committed to tackling this and building a diverse, highly skilled and exciting sector across the board – from shipbuilders to bosuns.

“This funding will help us tackle this problem by supporting the excellent work being done by charities and social organisations and fostering new programmes.”

I am also pleased to be launching our recovery route map, which will help to build a resilient, innovative and future-facing maritime sector for generations to come.

Mental Health Awareness Training Is Now Mandatory For New Seafarers

Announced in March 2022, a package of nine seafarer protection measures has set out plans to establish a new framework to improve the long-term working conditions of seafarers, developed in consultation with industry and unions.

Mental health awareness training is now being delivered to every new seafarer as part of their mandatory training, showing how the UK continue to aim to be a leading voice in recognising existing rights and working with industry and seafarer welfare organisations.

Also launched recently is the government’s Maritime recovery route map, bringing together the government’s plans to help the industry recover from the impact of the pandemic while supercharging the delivery of Maritime 2050.

Developed jointly with industry, the report follows the key Maritime 2050 themes, including how we will support our outstanding workforce, stay competitive and drive green growth by delivering innovation and new technology.