A national drive to boost the number of women in the maritime industry is being spearheaded on Merseyside by Complete Training Solutions as it takes up the Women in Maritime Pledge to support a major change in the sector’s job culture. The company has taken a lead in the Maritime UK campaign on Merseyside by committing to help put long-term job opportunities for women in this traditionally male environment high on the maritime agenda. In Liverpool City Region alone, the maritime sector is worth almost £4bn a year and employs 28,000 people – yet campaigners believe that nowhere near enough are women to act as trailblazers for the next generation. Tom Powell, Managing Director at CTS, said: “Liverpool’s heritage was founded on a thriving maritime industry. However, there has long been gender disparity within the labour force since the port’s inception.
“We believe more career pathways should be paved for women trying to gain access to the maritime sector.
Liverpool 2, the new container terminal at the Port of Liverpool, provides the region with the opportunity to become a flag bearer in the UK – and the world – to make this change happen.”
The Women in Maritime Pledge is part of a strategy by Maritime UK, whose members’ task is to promote the maritime sector, influence government and drive growth in the UK’s shipping, engineering, ports, leisure and marine services. As part of Maritime Week on Merseyside, other companies signing the Women in Maritime Pledge will be invited to take part in drafting the Women in Maritime Charter which will be launched in Liverpool on September 13. A celebratory dinner to mark the event is being sponsored by Complete Training Solutions. Also backing the Women in Maritime initiative is Mersey Maritime, the representative body for the maritime sector in Liverpool City Region whose Chief Executive, Chris Shirling Rooke, said:
“Attracting and retaining women into the maritime sector, promoting fairness and equality is critical and long overdue.
“As a member of the Women in Maritime Taskforce, it is our role to ensure that the Liverpool City Region is represented and that the views of our members are heard. It is a great privilege that the charter will be launched in Liverpool on September 13 with the support of the combined authority and our members, particularly CTS who are sponsoring the dinner.”
Already flying the flag for women carving careers in a traditional man’s role is Fiona Grice who works offshore as a windpower technician. She said: “It’s important to protect the future generation of women from stereotypical views, to progress towards gender equality and reach out to under-utilised female resources. “There’s a great demand for women in the maritime industry all over the UK and across the globe, so the world really is your oyster. If any woman thinks they would enjoy work like this and it’s what you want to do, don’t ever take your gender into account. “I love this job, even when it comes to wearing an immersion suit if the sea is ever below 12 degrees. Every day I go out and learn something new.”
Tom added: “As a leading provider within the industry we are committed to getting more women into long-term employment here and pledge our support to this cause.”
“In a male-dominated industry we need to expand the talent pool where is a lack of women. And for the few representing them, there simply is not enough recognition for their important contribution to this buoyant sector.”
“Less than 10 per cent of engineering workforce in the UK is female, with untapped talent out there and excellent opportunities available. We need to make our industry more attractive and an inclusive sector for women to be employed.”
“Fiona is a fantastic ambassador for our industry as she works with schools and young people to raise awareness of the move to get more women into maritime jobs.”
“Times are changing and there are fantastic careers available in the UK and throughout the rest of the world – mentors like her are crucial for our sector growth.”