Published: 11 September 2023
Engineers from the University of Southampton have welcomed a new report which is seeking to upskill British shipbuilding.
The paper by the UK’s Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce has made a series of recommendations to address skills challenges across the sector and sets out a plan in both the immediate and long term.
Taskforce member Dr Tahsin Tezdogan, an Associate Professor in Maritime Engineering at the University of Southampton, played a key role in developing its recommendations.
He said: “I am honoured to have played a significant role in shaping the recommendations of the report. It underscores the critical need to upskill British shipbuilding, promoting a vibrant and inclusive sector.
“By addressing skills challenges, engaging with the existing skills system, and anticipating technological changes, we are charting a promising course for the future of UK shipbuilding. As we strive to secure the maritime sector’s future, these recommendations will pave the way for a stronger, more competitive industry, welcoming future generations into this dynamic field.”
The Taskforce has spent the last year exploring shipbuilding skills challenges and developing recommendations for industry, educators and the government that seek to address these, including:
- Establishing a new, sector-wide narrative for shipbuilding to promote it as a vibrant and inclusive sector,
- Helping the sector engage more productively with the existing skills system, to leverage and maximise its use, supported by a new toolkit,
- Forecasting the impact of technological change in the sector on skills,
- Setting up an industry-led skills delivery group to oversee and drive delivery of the recommendations, and to be a voice for skills needs in the sector.
Professor of Maritime Fluid Dynamics Stephen Turnock, also from the University of Southampton, added: “With our longstanding Maritime Engineering programmes a key part of the sector’s skills landscape, we wholeheartedly welcome the recommendations of the report.
“Pathways into this vibrant and inclusive sector are needed for future generations to secure the future of UK shipbuilding and the maritime sector as a whole.”
The Taskforce also developed a toolkit – released alongside the report – to help employers, especially smaller businesses, better engage with the skills system.
The toolkit, available to read here, is intended to raise employer awareness of how to use free and funded initiatives to promote shipbuilding and recruit or train skilled people.
Read the Step Change in UK Shipbuilding Skills report in full at www.gov.uk/government/groups/uk-shipbuilding-skills-taskforce-uksst
Or see how the University of Southampton is improving quality of life and the environment of the world’s maritime industry at www.southampton.ac.uk/maritime.