Nautilus has joined with Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and the UK Chamber of Shipping to protect the national interest from the economic impact of the Covid-19 emergency.
In a joint statement to government, the social partners have called for maritime professionals to be empowered to perform the shipping industry's key logistical role in keeping the UK supplied with the food, medicine, fuel and equipment required to sustain people and businesses during this period of national and international emergency.
'As a priority, the diverse range of onshore and onboard skills required to operate merchant vessels from the UK ports network must be protected from long term damage,' the letter said.
'The preservation of jobs and skills particularly for seafarers and other key workers affected by Covid-19, must now be the focus of joint industry and government action.'
The collapse in passenger demand is expected to last for the foreseeable future as countries attempt to ride out the Covid-19 storm.
The partners called on the UK Government and devolved administrations to exercise all the policy levers at their disposal to protect seafarer jobs and qualifications.
'Seafarers will always be needed to make the global economy work for the national interest and the maritime skills base will be even more important once we emerge from the other side of this global pandemic.'
Nautilus Members who are concerned or are experiencing difficulties related to the coronavirus outbreak are advised to contact their industrial organiser for assistance.
Visit our dedicated Covid-19 assistance page for more information and breaking news.