North Tyneside shipyard sold in multimillion-pound deal

A Wallsend shipyard has been sold in a multimillion-pound deal in a further vote of confidence for the region’s industrial scene.

Hadrian Yard was put up for sale by owners Hadrian Industrial Holdings (HHIL) Ltd last May, with a £15m price tag.

The 75-acre site has now been sold to Smulders Projects UK – part of the Belgian-Dutch steel firm Smulders Group – which is the tenant at the site, in a deal understood to be close to the asking price.

Hadrian Yard has a long and distinguished history in the industrial heritage of the North East, having played a pivotal part in the region’s industrial past and present, housing a host of businesses involved in shipbuilding, oil and gas and the offshore wind sector.

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Kickstart Scheme or Apprenticeships?

Since Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the kickstart scheme as part of his Plan for Jobs, there has been some confusion on what the difference is between the new scheme and apprenticeships. 

The main thing to think about is do you want to employ someone for only six months, if the answer is yes, then the kickstart scheme is slightly more financially beneficial for most age groups, though not all, but the difference isn’t significant and the hidden cost of training them to be productive would be lost when they leave.

If you want to employ someone for 12 months or longer, the apprenticeship scheme is more financially beneficial, and you get tutor support when the apprentice is in the workplace. 

The main points on both schemes are:

Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme has been introduced to provide financial incentives to employers to employ young people.  Key points about the scheme are:

  • The job must be a new position – not displacing or replacing one that existed previously
  • The job must be ‘high quality’ (although there is no guidance as yet as to how this will be measured)
  • The proposed employee must be aged 16-24 years old when they start
  • The proposed employee must be in receipt of Universal Credit
  • The proposed employee must be considered by the Jobcentre as being at risk of long-term unemployment (though we still await guidance on how this will be determined)
  • Employers will be expected to provide training (although not through the apprenticeship scheme) and/or job search support to improve the employee’s long-term job prospects
  • Funding will only cover the relevant National Minimum Wage rate for the employee.  If the employer pays higher than the NMW, the difference remains a direct cost to the employer
  • Funding is for 25 hours per week.  If the employee works more than 25 hours per week this also remains an additional direct cost to the employer
  • Funding will cover six months of employment
  • Funding will cover National Insurance and Mandatory pension contributions (‘on-costs’)


Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity to home-grow your talent and research has shown that apprentices improve productivity, staff morale and customer satisfaction.

  • Commitment to paying employers to create new apprenticeships to January 2021
  • Bonus scheme to run from August 2020 to January 2021
  • Continued payment of the £1,000 Employer Incentive Payment for employers hiring 16 to 18-year olds
  • NEW incentive of £2,000 for employers who hire apprentices aged 16 to 24 years.  You can apply for the payment until 30th April 2021
  • NEW incentive of £1,500 for employers who hire apprentices aged 25 and older.  You can apply for the payment until 30th April 2021
  • Apprenticeship programmes run for a minimum of 12 months

National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage

 National Living WageAge 21to 22Age 18 to 20Age 16 to 17Apprentice*
April 2020 (Current rate)£8.72£8.20£6.45£4.55£4.15
From April 2021£8.91£8.36£6.56£4.62£4.30

*Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they are either aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

If you would like to find out more, please feel free to contact Sue on:

Mobile phone – 07486 073844

Email –

Or arrange to have chat

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The EU-UK Trade deal is now being implemented. The deal has significant implications for the fisheries industry, particularly in terms of fishing rights, access & trade.

Many representatives of the UK catch sector have issued statements expressing that the agreement fell short of the commitments & promises that were made to the fishing industry by those at the highest level of government. Many believe we are now a coastal state with one hand tied behind our back.

The Cornish believe they have been used & abused; used as a poster boy & illustration of what the UK could gain through Brexit & taking back control. Abused
by being sold out in the final analyses for others. The £100m support package spoken about by UK government is nothing more than an insult & a pathetic attempt to cover up a betrayal of UK fishermen.

This is not the deal fishermen were promised. It is important MPs & the public understand this & are not misled by Government spin to the contrary.

And to those coastal leaders & maritime hubs that wrote to the Chancellor supporting decarbonisation to level-up your communities, that long shadow of deprivation that hangs over your towns & cities just got a whole lot darker.

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Dales Marine Services To Expand Workforce To Support Major New Contract With Caledonian MacBrayne

Dales Marine Services Ltd has announced a new 4-year contract with CalMac Ferries Limited for 19 vessels.

Dales Marine’s certified technicians will be undertaking vessel upgrades and afloat maintenance across the 19 CalMac vessels with the majority of the work being carried out at the Dales Marine Greenock dry dock facilities.

Greenock will provide a 24-hour service and berth space for the afloat maintenance and repair work.

The last eight months have seen significant improvements in Dale’s Greenock facilities by way of over a £1m investment in the yard.

To support the new contract, Dales Marine Services has pledged to expand its current apprenticeship programme, which to-date stands at 46 apprentices across the group, undertaking to employ a further four apprentices, for every year of the CalMac contract.

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Tender Launched for Thames Estuary Hydrogen Strategy

The Thames Estuary Growth Board is seeking support to enable it to identify the potential of hydrogen within the Estuary.

This will help map out how they can realise the commitment made in their ambitious ‘Green Blue’ plan which includes driving good green growth and spearheading the development of a hydrogen ecosystem across the Estuary to enable the greening of transport on land and water.

Interested parties should register and submit tender bids via by noon on 15 January 2021. Clarification questions must be submitted before noon on 08 January 2021.

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National Maritime Launches New ‘UK Quality Mark’ for Maritime SMEs


Maritime SME Champions National Maritime has launched its new sector-wide ‘UK Quality Mark’ as part of it strategy to help drive trade and growth for all maritime SMEs operating within the UK and to support the priorities of Maritime 205.

Sourced, Serviced, Produced in the United Kingdom is the official quality mark for the UK SME maritime sector, an initiative created by the SME Maritime Working Group of the UK’s largest maritime network organisation, National Maritime.

Maintaining the global to local balance, the mark will help unite and support the UK SME maritime community to form new relationships, build up knowledge and find areas of common ground on which to forge new trade. It will also help UK and global buyers, consumers and specifiers to identify products or services that are provided by UK operators.

The quality mark may be used by those maritime industries operating in the UK that meet the criteria and who are also listed on the UK Blue Prime SME maritime directory, which is free to register.

Qualifying companies will receive a complete suite of logos including a version to support clean maritime growth initiatives. These can be proudly displayed across all marketing and social media platforms and product packaging.

Make the maritime connection and Register for free here

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What domestic abuse means to an Employer?

It was just days before the coronavirus lockdown, at a local networking event where I met Lucy Whittaker, founder and lead trainer of Alpha Vesta CIC, and after listening to her journey from spending many years working as a frontline domestic abuse practitioner, partnered with her academic study and her very strong ethos that ‘we need to do more in order to reach people sooner before their lives often reach crisis point and they end up embroiled in the criminal justice system and social care arenas’, that I realised how little I knew and truly understood about domestic abuse, and especially the impact of domestic abuse within the workplace, and here is where my journey to fill that lack of knowledge started. 

I never realised how incredibly complex domestic abuse is.  Not all domestic abuse is characterised by patterns of coercive control, and some incidents of domestic abuse are characterised by underlying vulnerability and a toxic mix of unmet needs that occasionally spiral into some form of emotional abuse and violence.

Did you know that one in four women and one in six men will be affected by domestic abuse at some point during in their adult lifetime (HM Government, 2019) and the NSPCC have released a report this year estimating one in five children are growing up in a home where domestic abuse in occurring (NSPCC, 2020).

In a Home Office study released last year on the Social and Economic Costs of Domestic Abuse is estimated to be £66 billion per year with £14 billion of that as a direct cost to the economy in terms of lost economic output. 

High absenteeism, lateness, impact on mental health and wellbeing sit very prominently but studies have also shown that one in two victims of domestic abuse said their work colleagues were also affected, and one in ten will have to leave their job due to the abuse (Opinium Research commissioned by Vodafone, 2019) and broader patterns of poor career progression (KPMG, 2019), high recruitment costs, low staff morale and productivity have also emerged.

With one third of a working adult’s life being spent in work, employers are in a unique position to create a supportive workplace with a culture that encourages all health and wellbeing needs and to help break the silence around the domestic abuse issue.

With the funding Alpha Vesta have received from the Essex Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, the Essex Community Foundation and The National Lottery, Lucy has been able to deliver fully funded online awareness sessions and training workshops to put into action Alpha Vesta’s strong foundation and mission statement of ‘Breaking the cycle of domestic abuse through awareness, prevention and early interventions in the Workplace’.

For more information about the impact of domestic abuse in the workplace, please visit

To book on one of Alpha Vesta’s events please visit

S Potter Talent Ltd working in collaboration with Alpha Vesta CIC.

Contact details:

Mobile phone – 07486 073844

Email –

Interested in finding out more, then please feel free to book a discovery call at:

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Epic Swim – As National Maritime CEO Swims the English Channel

Our CEO Peter Green has just successfully swam the English Channel. He says;

To the team, in a COVID ridden season we went back and we were successful, thank you.

I am now going to enjoy a glass of beer to myself or maybe a little bit of humbleness.

I hope I have inspired others to keep their dreams alive.

Peter Green, English Channel Swimmer, 6th August 2020 – 22hrs 40mins.

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Get yer Kit On – As Propeller Club members compete to win the National Maritime Fantasy Premier League Championship

Great to welcome Propeller Club members to this seasons National Maritime Fantasy Premier League Championship.

It’s a great opportunity to network and get to know maritime professionals around the country, and should be a lot of fun to boot!

The 2020–21 iteration begins on Saturday, 12 September, and will again see those working in or associated with the global maritime community compete to win the National Maritime League and Cup.

Last year’s winner was National Maritime, Chief Executive, Peter Green who amassed 2,181 points. More even than Liverpool winning the title!!!

To join the official National Maritime Cup couldn’t be easier. Simply use the link below, enter the code and you’ll be added automatically after you’ve entered the game.

League Code: cei6e8

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The Falls of Clyde – bringing a 140-year-old bulk carrier into the twenty-first century; an alternative power project.

When you’re asked to work on a project restoring a 140-year-old
bulk carrier to her former glory, it’s something you simply cannot

The Falls of Clyde, the only remaining sail-driven oil tanker in
the world, is heading back to her birthplace in Scotland after sailing the seas
for 140 years. Built in 1878 she is a survivor and the last of her kind, a
testimony to the workmanship of Scottish shipbuilding.

Currently based in Honolulu and at risk of neglect, David
O’Neill, the creator and director of Falls of Clyde International, an
organisation founded to save the historic Falls of Clyde from being ‘scuttled’
by the Honolulu harbours department.

“She will become a symbol of Scotland’s lead in the world
of new eco-technologies, alternative propulsion and hydrogen/ electric power

David’s vision wasn’t to keep her as a static nod to Scotland’s
proud nautical past by turning her into a dry-docked museum, but rather create
a unique piece of history capable of sailing for a further 140 years. With a
passion for the environment and climate change, David set out to create a
carbon-neutral vessel that will fly the flag for Scotland’s engineering and
green tech abilities.

MIT is thrilled to have been approached by the Falls of Clyde
International to look at developing a sustainable diesel alternative power
solution for this unusual project. Our expert team of alternative power
engineers have been working on a range of solutions to deliver emission-free

The initial plans are to use a combination of industry-leading
marine thrusters, driven by either electric or hydrogen power. Manufactured by
Veth Propulsion with an ethos built around simplistic and intensely engineered
solutions. Over the last 5-6 decades, they have developed a range of robust and
sustainable emission-free power alternatives, suitable for a variety of vessels
due to the flexibility of their models. 

Tom Binns, Sales Manager, MIT, said “With sustainability at the core of our business strategy, we are delighted to play a role in such a historical project. Backed by Veth Propulsion, we are confident we have the best solution to deliver years of emission-free sailing. We look forward to welcoming such a prominent part of Scottish maritime history back to our waters”.

Falls of Clyde International are currently engaging with a property developer
based in Glasgow to discuss a new home for the vessels rebuild. The proposal
would also offer the possibility of creating a new maritime centre on the site.

architects and designers also have the opportunity to be involved with the
project. FOCI plan to launch a competition for the redesign of the entire
ship.  Details to be released shortly.

You can follow her journey in full here:

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