'Real progress' is being delivered on recommendations made in the UK government's Maritime 2050 strategy, according to a new report issued by Maritime UK.
The report has been released to mark the halfway point for Maritime 2050's short-term recommendations.
Informed by consultations with Nautilus and other industry stakeholders, the long-term road map for safeguarding the future of the UK maritime sector was published in 2019 by the British government.
Maritime 2050 was developed in close collaboration with the industry's umbrella organisation Maritime UK and stressed the continued importance of the sector to the country and the government's determination to ensure that the UK remains a major global maritime power.
The document set out over 180 recommendations across seven themes to support the strategy. The Maritime UK progress report looks at short-term recommendations covering competitiveness, people, environment, innovation, and regional growth.
Maritime UK chair Sarah Kenny said: 'Since the UK published its Maritime 2050 strategy in January of 2019, the world has seen a huge amount of upheaval. Though the UK's exit from the European Union was already in train, the unprecedented outbreak of a global pandemic was soon to cause major disruptions across the sector and across the world.
'And yet, despite much happening during the past two and a half years, the long-term challenges and opportunities for the sector remain very similar. In many cases, the pandemic has simply accelerated change or made the imperative to make progress that much greater. Be that the focus of society on the climate crisis or the need to provide greater support on seafarer welfare following the crew change crisis.'
Ms Kenny said she was pleased in spite of the global upheavals 'that the sector was able to keep its eye on Maritime 2050 and make real progress in delivering its recommendations. Such is the value that the sector attaches to the first long-term national government strategy for the maritime industries. '
Keeping the short-term strategies on track had 'necessitated new working practices across the sector – encouraging a culture change that breaks down silos to make progress on common priorities – and, as the report demonstrates, we have taken real strides in this directions.'
Ms Kenny acknowledged: 'There is much more to do, clearly, but that progress has been made across the board, should give us real cause for optimism about the future of our sector.'