Nautilus has welcomed confirmation from shipping minister John Hayes that the government has agreed to the Union's calls for a review of the UK's system for issuing Certificates of Equivalent Competency (CECs).

In a letter to the Union, the minister said he had asked Sir Alan Massey, head of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), to undertake a review of the way in which CECs are given to foreign officers seeking work on UK-flagged ships.

Sir Alan has told Nautilus that the review will be treated as 'a matter of priority' and the MCA will work with the Union, other social partners and industry experts to progress it.

The case for such a review has been a key objective in our Charter for Jobs strategic campaign and the positive responses from the minister and the MCA are most welcome. General secretary Mark Dickinson commented

'We hope that we can secure rapid progress on the review – something that is increasingly important ahead of Brexit,' he added. 'We must ensure that there is a level playing field for UK-resident seafarers and that CECs are not used by shipowners as a way of creating a pool of cheap labour that results in unfair competition for jobs.'


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