A judging panel of international maritime leaders have announced the Solent as the winner of the national Future Skills award.
The Maritime UK awards, run by industry, for the benefit of industry, recognised our substantial contribution to the future of the sector. Working with industry partners such as GKN, BAE Systems, MHI Vestas, QinetiQ and the Royal Navy, alongside local schools, colleges and universities, we have invested over £20m in world-class education and training facilities to support 5,000 new learners every year.
Brian Johnson our Chair, said:
"2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for Solent businesses, and particularly for our Maritime sector which has felt the huge impact of international travel and other restrictions. Whilst we have been prioritising support to help businesses survive the immediate impact of the pandemic, we know our maritime sector have overcome challenges in the past and fully believe that the Solent will continue to be a world-leading marine and maritime economy in the years ahead.
Ensuring our businesses have access to the skills they need across our local communities has been a long-standing priority for us and this has never been more important as we work to ensure we emerge from the pandemic with the best possible foundations in place for future growth and prosperity."
Rachael Randall, a LEP Director and Chair of our Skills Advisory Panel, said:
"We are committed to developing a world-class talent base, helping people at all stages of their career build the skills they need to respond to new technology and drive an innovative knowledge-based economy.
Our work will make a tangible contribution to maritime businesses and the prospects of our local communities for years to come and I am delighted that our pioneering activity across education, training or apprenticeship development, to help match available skills to the emerging and future requirements of the industry has been recognised nationally."
Significant investments in maritime skills, training and careers that we have made include:
• £1.8m to Portsmouth Naval Base Marine Engineering Centre for training facilities for apprentices, and for up-skilling and re-training the existing workforce.
• £11m for Isle of Wight College's Centre of Excellence for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine (CECAMM).
• £7.5m for Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering to secure its world leading training status.
• £6m for Fareham College's Centre of Excellence in Engineering, Manufacturing and Advanced Skills Training (CEMAST).
• More than £300,000 towards employer-led training programmes across the leisure marine and offshore wind industry, in partnership with MHI Vestas and British Marine.
• Most recently, the LEP worked with Maritime UK to run the first virtual maritime careers fair, where over 500 pupils and young people from across the country engaged with over 40 maritime related employers to discover more about the breadth of careers found in the sector and inspire the next generation workforce for the maritime industry.