JOBS on British-flagged ships are going to foreign workers despite there being thousands of officers out of work in this country, a study by seafarers’ union Nautilus International found yesterday.
There had been a “significant decline” in the number of British officers in the shipping industry, said the union.
It called on the government to take urgent action to protect British jobs, including by reforming the certification system for working on a British-flagged vessel.
Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson pointed out that in 2015, there were more than 10,500 non-British nationals with valid certificates.
In that same year and the following one, around 2,000 British seafarer jobs were lost.
“These seafarers have struggled to find work due, in part, to the amount of competition from lower-cost seafarers, which is, in turn, driving down working conditions and pay,” Mr Dickinson said.
“If the government continues to be complacent on the issue, we will witness a further decline of the nation’s essential maritime skills and an even greater dependence on other countries.”