Maritime & Marine

Solent Partners & MTAG launch careers programme to help plug maritime and transport skills gap

Fran Collins, Katie Bruce and Gary Whittle in front of MTCP banner

Katie Bruce, MTCP Engagement Officer (centre) with Fran Collins and Gary Whittle, Co-Chairs of MTAG.

By Daniel Face [email protected]

Published: November 10, 2023 | Updated: 10th November 2023

A new careers programme has been launched to address the skills gap in the maritime and transport industries of the Central South.

MTCP logoThe Maritime Transport Careers Programme (MTCP) represents a collaboration between Solent Partners – formerly Solent LEP – and Business South’s Maritime Transport Action Group (MTAG).

It aims to highlight the variety of jobs available in the area and attract a new wave of talent to futureproof both industries.

Solent Partners logoWith financial backing from both MTAG and Maritime UK, this marks the first time that the private sector has funded an initiative of this nature.

Katie Bruce has been appointed Engagement Officer for the programme, leveraging 16 years of experience in careers as she meets with employers, schools and colleges.

Katie BruceShe’ll also be reaching out to school leavers, returners and those looking to switch profession.

“We’re excited to bring together some of the region’s top businesses to help address the current skills gap”, said Katie.

“By working together, we’ll highlight the fantastic range of opportunities that are available in the maritime and transport industries in our area.

“There are so many fulfilling, flexible and long-term opportunities, no matter what background you come from.”

Gary WhittleGary Whittle, Commercial Director at Meachers Global Logistics and Vice Chair of MTAG, is also keen to emphasise that last point.

“Traditionally, our industries have been seen as male-dominated or lacking in diversity”, he added.

“These are perceptions we want to change and make sure that the local workforce is aware of all the different roles and opportunities available, whether they’re just starting out after school, or experienced professionals looking for a new challenge.”

MTAG represents businesses including Red Funnel, Meachers Global Logistics, ABP Ports, Portsmouth International Port, Williams Shipping and Southampton Airport – all coordinated by Business South and its CEO Leigh-Sara Timberlake.

Leigh-Sara Timberlake“It’s gratifying to see an idea that was born in the MTAG come to fruition in such a positive way”, said Leigh-Sara.

“We hope this project will lead to greater awareness of the vital jobs that are available in marine and transport in our region.

“I’m sure this will be the first of many such projects, and our pioneering spirit – led by Gary Whittle and the other members of MTAG – should be applauded.”

A new website has launched with the programme to provide news of events and link to the businesses involved.

Those interested in engaging with or supporting the programme are encouraged to get in touch with Katie at [email protected]

Read more – Solent shipbuilders and maritime groups secure £32m funding to drive zero emission ambitions

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