Unions and MPs are putting urgent training and safety issues surrounding the nation's maritime industry back on the agenda "big time" this week.
They are worried that the lack of provision for training, education and safety for shipping workers will result in a huge crisis in recruitment.
Nautilus International union spokesman Andrew Linington told the Morning Star today: "They are back on the agenda big time because there are so many burning issues."
Nautilus and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are holding talks on Wednesday to look at areas for mutual collaboration in the fight.
The next day a working group of interested MPs will meet Shipping Minister Mike Penning.
One of them, Hull East Labour MP Karl Turner, wrote in the latest RMT News that the group was already backing the union's efforts to apply the national minimum wage to British-flagged vessels in our territorial waters.
The group "was set up at the end of the last Labour government and the minister is trying to kick this into the long grass. We won't let him."
He added: "We need more jobs from the maritime sector, not just in Hull but all over the UK.
"The acute lack of training opportunities in the maritime sector is fuelling a crisis in recruitment."
Mr Linington said that only about half of the seafarers the nation needs for the future are being trained and only a fraction of ratings that will be needed.
Bereaved families and survivors of the Zeebrugge ferry disaster will mark the 25th anniversary of the tragedy with a memorial service on Tuesday.
They will attend the service, organised by the Sailors Society, at St Mary The Virgin Church in Dover.
The Herald of Free Enterprise capsized after setting out from Belgium bound for Dover on March 6 1987, killing 193 people.
It had left port with its bow doors open.
Stricter ferry safety regulations were introduced following the disaster and rules were tightened even further after the Estonia ferry capsized in September 1994 with the loss of more than 850 lives.
In January the cruise ship Costa Concordia capsized, leaving 32 people dead or missing.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
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