Category: Blog


Blue Prime Members Privilege Card

What could be better than getting money off, member discounts, freebies, V.I.P access and free coffee? Having a smart little card to show…of course.

Freshly minted Members Privilege cards are yours for the asking as long as you are a registered member of Blue Prime; and why wouldn’t you be? National Maritime have the largest SME Maritime Network in the UK, and to be a member of Blue Prime, means you can access all the free benefits you get with it.

So, if you’re a Maritime SME get registered, and if you are one of the many that already are, get in touch, we will send you the card and you can start using it. It can be used to access our member discounts and offers and you can use it when you come into our Maritime Hub in Dartford to book a meeting pod with free parking, free Wi-Fi and a free coffee included. Soon we will be ‘actually meeting’ and organising physical events again which includes bringing back our popular networking breakfasts and even more popular ‘Pitch & Pitcher’ evenings.

To register for Blue Prime membership and qualify for the members privilege card, go to:

Blue Prime – National Maritime (

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JUST LAUNCHED! National Maritime Blue Prime Networking Group

We can’t always meet in person but we can always form a virtual connection, which is almost as good and you don’t need to iron a shirt.

To that aim, National Maritime have created a brand-new Facebook Group, where our Blue Prime members can interact with each other; post ideas, news, collaborations, new innovations, questions and concerns. This forum will support business and develop relationships that will make progress happen. We need input from our SME’s to Inform the SME Maritime Working Group about the key issues that affect the sector, in order to progress concerns and offer solutions at a governmental level. We want to create a fertile ground for business to grow; it’s all done here.

If you are a SME that works in or with the Maritime industry and you source, service or produce in the UK you can register to Blue Prime and become a member of the UK’s Largest SME Maritime Network and enjoy all the free benefits that entails, one of which is access to this new online forum.

We are a community of UK Maritime SMEs, enjoying access to services and content for free. We believe in making it easier for companies to access the right business support and advice, which is why we operate a ‘Pay as you Go’ membership service, providing a more value-added solution than the traditional trade association membership model. We do not ask you to pay membership fees, only pay when you require our services.


  • Company listing on Blue Prime, the online directory for UK maritime SME
  • Exclusive access to our Blue Prime on-line networking group
  • Authorised use of official UK quality marks and National Maritime logos
  • Receive ‘Maritime Connection’, our bi-monthly e-newsletter sent to your in-box
  • Access to the National Maritime SME Working v
  • One hour business advice clinic with a Maritime Enterprise Development Mentor
  • Book lounge areas & business pods for meetings at any Blue Space maritime hub with free Wi-Fi
  • Discounts on meeting and training room hire at any Blue Space maritime hub
  • Invitations to National Maritime member-only events
  • Entitlement to member offers and discounts on networking events, goods and services
  • Receive a Blue Prime Privilege Card to help access all member offers
  • First to hear about and book National Maritime’s local and international events

Simply upload your business, promote your services & offer a reward that appeals to your customers. Make the maritime connection and start doing business today.

Blue Prime – National Maritime (

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Excited To Announce Our New Co-Chair of National Maritime’s SME Maritime Working Group

Tim Munn – Consultant for Iconsys and XDMC

As we continue to rethink and transform the global supply chain model to help best drive trade and growth on behalf of UK maritime SMEs, I am delighted that our Maritime Sustainability Technology Champion Tim Munn will be co-chairing with our future SME Maritime Working Group meetings.

The purpose of the SME Maritime Working Group is to bring together the best specialists or ‘sector champions’ to examine key issues, make valuable connections, share best practices and suggest improved approaches to develop strong sustainable supply chains and encourage a collaborative approach for the long-term success of the whole sector.

South London born but brought up on the Isle of Wight, Tim moved up north to start his career as an electrical engineer. After a whirlwind romance in Brazil, where he met and married his wife of 15 years, he moved back to the UK and settled down to bring up their two boys. In 2006 he started working for ABB – offshore & marine, as an engineer and progressed to a senior position there in business development. With many years of experience under his belt he has now embarked on a new chapter of his career, consulting for Iconsys – Automated Technology Solutions and XDM Controls. He resides in Doncaster now, indulging his hobby of home automation systems, when he has a spare minute, and looks forward to travelling back to his second home in Southern Brazil as soon as he is can.

As an industry stalwart, Tim is a great champion of our cause and this new position will see him broadening his skills further.

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Returning to the Workplace

On 10th May 2020 the Government began to outline its plan to enable certain sectors to return to work.

Whilst employees who can operate from home are being advised to continue to do so, official guidance on the government’s plans for returning to the workplace continue to emerge, and I urge you to ensure you keep up to date with the governments guidance.

  1. Planning

Communication is key, and you should be consulting with your staff about returning to work.  If you have trade union, employee and health and safety representatives then you need to be including them. 

If you do have trade union or employee representatives, please check any agreements you have in place with them to see if you should be formally consulting.

Whilst employees and workers should be ready to return to work at short notice, you should be flexible where possible.

  • Making the workplace safe

As an employer you must make the workplace as safe as possible for employees, contractors, customers and everyone who needs to visits.  Wherever possible encourage employees to work from home and ensure you follow the government guidelines on working safely during coronavirus on GOV.UK

Risk assessments should be carried out to identify what might cause harm, and reasonable steps taken to prevent them from happening.  The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have a great managing risks and risk assessment at work section on their website, along with working safely during coronavirus from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at find coronavirus advise on the HSE website

  • Discuss plans with your employees

It is important to make sure you talk to your employees as soon as possible with regards to returning to work, and your conversations should include:

  • when employees might return to the workplace
  • how they will travel to and from work
  • how health and safety is being reviewed, managed and the latest risk assessment findings and actions
  • any planned adjustments to be made to the workplace, e.g. phased return to work, staggering start and finish times, floor markings to help people keep 2 metres apart
  • working from home arrangements

It is so important not to forget any changes that might affect an employee’s employment contract needs to be consulted with them.

  • If someone does not want to return

You may find some people are anxious about safety and going back to the workplace, and it is important to encourage them to talk to you about any concerns and try to resolve them together.

Some people may feel they do not want to return to work or they may be unable to return yet, for example, they may be:

  • worried about catching coronavirus
  • they may be at high risk of getting a severe illness if they catch coronavirus
  • caring for children
  • living with someone who is shielding

As an employer you need to listen to any concerns your staff may have and take steps to ensure you protect everyone, this may be

  • offering extra car parking so employees do not have to use public transport
  • keeping someone on furlough if they are temporarily unable to work
  • temporarily changing hours of work to avoid peak travel time

If after reviewing any reasonable adjustments the employee still does not want to return to work, you may want to consider letting them book annual leave or unpaid leave.

If someone is refusing to return to work without a valid reason, this could result in disciplinary action and your disciplinary policy and procedure needs to be followed.

S Potter Talent Ltd is an award-winning consultancy offering bespoke apprenticeship scheme management, human resources and learning & development strategies for business.

Contact details:

Mobile phone – 07486 073844

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Inn2POWER – Connecting Offshore Wind Businesses across the North Sea Region

The leading offshore wind clusters of the North Sea Region have joined forces to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in engaging in innovative cross-border collaboration and business opportunities. The offshore wind industry (OWI) is an important driver of economic development in the North Sea Region (NSR) but is challenged by the need for further cost reductions, continuous innovation, and improved acceptance of the industry. In order to secure growth in the OWI around the North Sea Region, (SMEs need to play a key role in tackling those challenges. Inn2POWER offers targeted support measures to SMEs and supports collaboration at the regional, sectoral, and transnational levels.

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The ferry industry is crying out for innovation and green-friendly solutions as Cammell Laird reveals plans for new Ro-Pax ferry

British shipyard Cammell Laird announce ambitious plans to disrupt the new-build ferry market with a new specially designed Ro-Pax ferry. Releasing a sneak picture preview of the commercial sensitive design ahead of a formal launch later this year Cammell Laird’s project director Andy Askham said the company believes its innovative, environmentally ground-breaking design will prove attractive to an ‘underserved market’. “The ferry industry is crying out for innovation and green-friendly solutions,” he said. “Our new Ro-Pax design will be in the segment of the market where there’ll be a lot of demand for the next decade. From our discussions with various owners we have seen real interest in our design that thrusts environmental innovation, fuel efficiency and comfort to the forefront of the future ferry market. The global ferry fleet is aging and in need of replacing while ferry building supply, certainly at a sophisticated level, is stretched in Europe in terms of spare capacity.”

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Welsh marine energy project benefits from the UK’s first Energy Investment Portfolio as £240 million investment drive creates thousands of Welsh jobs

The Board of Trade met in Wales to launch £240 million worth of Welsh energy and infrastructure projects to global investors. The UK-wide Energy Investment Portfolio will be launched in Swansea. It aims to attract £35 million of potential investment in the Morlais Marine Energy Facility project in Anglesey. Gerallt Llewelyn Jones, SRO at Morlais said, “Menter Môn is working hard to bring this important industry to Wales and we are grateful for UK Government involvement and support as we seek to tie up capital funding.”David Jones, Project Director at Marine Energy Wales added, “We welcome this positive move by the UK Government. Marine energy is already creating low carbon jobs in Wales and driving inward investment into peripheral economies. The Morlais project is key to delivering marine energy ambitions in Wales.”

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National Maritime Cup: Time Trial Championship

We are seeking 12 teams from across UK maritime industries to take to the Thames this summer to row the 9 mile route from Woolwich to Greenwich in aid of the AHOY centre charity and battle to become the UK’s maritime sector ‘Champion of Champions’

This event is open to all – no experience required – training session provided.

National Maritime Cup

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Without doubt, shipping remains the cornerstone of the UK maritime sector and we have a great maritime history, however….


Without doubt, shipping remains the cornerstone of the UK maritime sector and we have a great maritime history, however with increasing world trade and growing maritime leisure interests, the range of supporting maritime activities on these shores will surely only continue to grow and provide unique opportunities for growth, within both the domestic and export markets.

Today we find a UK maritime sector that covers everything from shipping to sub-sea technology, ports to aquaculture, legal and financial services to renewable energy, historic vessels to marine engineering and from the Royal Navy to commercial fishing.

A wider maritime sector whose industries now support 10% of the UK’s workforce, those either employed  directly or indirectly within the sector,  defined by any position on or related to the sea and waterways, that contributes £56 bn of UK GDP per annum.

The Maritime Growth Study tells us how the departure of large scale commercial shipbuilding from our shores forced the UK maritime sector to evolve, bringing to the forefront our expertise in maritime- related business services, as well as marine manufacturing, engineering and technology.

We are also told that the UK is an ambitious country, hungry for economic and sector growth. The UK is undoubtedly an attractive destination for inward investment and continues to be a top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) but are we truly serious about ‘keeping the UK maritime sector competitive in a global market’?

As the largest representative body for the maritime sector in the Thames and Channel region and a not –for- profit business, National Maritime is a powerhouse of businesses working in the maritime sector focused on supply chain development and the sustainable growth of estuarine and coastal communities. We continue to promote the UK as a world class location central to the countries global maritime aspirations, whose industries are ambitious to drive trade, productivity and economic growth.

But is it now time to consider establishing a single leadership for the sector, which does not undermine the sense of responsibility that other individual organisations feel and have, for their sub-sector or local communities? An organisation that would provide a single conduit to bringing coherent sector support, reduced bureaucracy, which adds weight to arguments for infrastructure improvements and destination making. An organisation that also ensures that the strategic approach to supporting the UK maritime sector is total, not just for the selected few or at the highest level!

After all, we already see skills integration and the sharing of resources between maritime sub-sectors, so why not make it even easier for maritime businesses and entrepreneurs across all sub-sectors, to access and utilise the right information and expert advice to start, thrive and grow their business.

The breadth and diversity throughout the UK maritime sector is one of its greatest strengths, let’s maximise the opportunity and actively encourage cross sector collaboration to simplify the approach that best drives sector success and economic growth.  Make the #maritimeconnection join us

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Making the #maritimeconnection

Author – Peter Green: National Maritime (NMDG) welcomed the Maritime Growth Study, published on the opening day of London International Shipping Week, which was commissioned by Government early in November 2014.

The report sets out ways in which the UK can maintain its position as a world leading maritime centre and makes recommendations on issues including seafarer training, reform of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the UK Ship Register (UKSR), and promoting the maritime sector.

We were pleased that the study also recognised the calls for closer collaboration across the breadth of the maritime sector, after-all the size of the UK-flagged fleet is directly related to the strength of the broader maritime sector?

We were also encouraged to hear the calls for all of the industries and services within the maritime cluster to work together to grow the UK maritime economy and, when necessary, present a unified view to government and global stakeholders.

As a growing respected authority, National Maritime (NMDG) has always worked closely with companies across the sector, government and all other stakeholders; including maritime trade associations and organisations, to address issues and promote interests that affect business and communities.

We are concerned that whilst evidence collected as part of the study rightly underlined the economic importance of shipping and ports, and encompassed a wide range of other activities such as training, business services, engineering, manufacturing, research and development it primarily suggests that the UK maritime sector as a whole, is made up of just ports, shipping and maritime business services?

A sector that in effect contributes £22.2 billion to UK GDP and supports 489,400 jobs, whereas the wider UK maritime economy actually provides over 935,000 jobs and generates around £56 bn of UK GDP and includes amongst others; Shipping, Port Operations & Business Services, Marine Engineering, Renewable, Fisheries, Heritage, Offshore Oil & Gas and  Recreational.

UK maritime industries now contribute 10% of the UK’s workforce with 2.5 million people employed either directly or indirectly within the sector, those largely defined by any position on or related to the sea and waterways.

We of course welcome the report’s confirmation that the industry intends to improve cross-sector collaboration, however the sector must ensure that the strategic approach to supporting the UK maritime sector is total, not just for the selected few or at the highest level!

Without doubt shipping remains the cornerstone of the UK economy and the UK has a great maritime history however with increasing world trade and growing maritime leisure interests, the range of supporting maritime activities on these shores will only continue to grow and provide unique opportunities for growth, within both the domestic and export markets.

Today, we find a UK maritime sector that covers everything from shipping to sub-sea technology, ports to aquaculture, legal and financial services to renewable energy, historic vessels to marine engineering and from the Royal Navy to commercial fishing.

The National Maritime (NMDG) continues to engage with enthusiastic and passionate professionals who are looking to advance the state of the “UK maritime sector” and take on the challenge of ensuring that the UK remains a global maritime centre.

We believe the UK’s maritime industries remain one of the best prospects for high value, high skilled economic growth and is a sector that has many competitive advantages, across all sub- sectors.

We believe in our abilities to forge partnerships and key strategic alliances to make the #maritimeconnection

National Maritime (NMDG), the maritime network for industries influenced by the sea and waterways. A community interest company focused on supply chain development and the sustainable growth of estuarine and coastal communities, to drive sector and economic growth.

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