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Supporting the modernisation of the maritime sector through the increased adoption and integration of Industry 4.0 (or digital) technologies

We are working with the Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland (CIT) to showcase UK maritime industries on the IN 4.0 Connect platform, the online match making tool that will showcase firms and industry 4.0 Technology specialist firms across the Atlantic area of Europe. The aim of the project is to support the modernisation of the maritime sector (specifically those involved in the ship building, repair, fit out supply chain) through the increased adoption and integration of Industry 4.0 (or digital) technologies.

The portal called IN 4.0 Connect is an online match making tool that will showcase over 100 Naval/Maritime firms and 100 Industry 4.0 Technology specialist firms across 5 countries from the Atlantic Area of Europe. It will facilitate both B2B introductions and research connections between these sectors in order to promote collaboration and innovation through additional linkages between European naval and technological specialists. All you need to do to participate is to provide us with your company logo, size of the company (Small <50; Medium 50-250 or Large 250+), website address, year the company was founded (and) a short sentence (96 characters incl. spaces) describing your firm Email : info@nmdg.co.uk

Three shipbuilding teams shortlisted to build new warships in UK

Three shipbuilding teams have been awarded multi-million-pound contracts to push ahead with plans to build five new Type 31e warships in the UK for the Royal Navy. The Defence Minister Stuart Andrew announced that teams led by BAE Systems, Babcock and Atlas Elektronik UK have been shortlisted for the competition to build the five frigates for £1.25 billion. Each group has been awarded a contract worth up to £5 million to fund the next stage of their plans, with the preferred bidder for the design and manufacture of the ships due to announced by the end of next year. The MOD want the first ship delivered in 2023.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/three-shipbuilding-teams-shortlisted-to-build-new-warships-in-uk

Why an increased emphasis on UK maritime skills in schools and universities may not help to reduce the sector’s skills gap?

The skills gap is probably not due to an absolute shortage of skills, but to differences in the skills that are supplied and demanded. In other words, the problem is not that workers do not have skills. The problem is that the skills they have are not the skills employers want. As the UK maritime sector seeks to set up an industry-wide programme to attract young people to maritime careers, it needs to also consider why an increased emphasis on maritime skills in schools and universities may not help to reduce the sector skills gap? The sector needs to recognise that students have a choice about what skills they acquire and whether they use these skills on the job market. As long as wages in the sector do not reward certain skills, they will either chose not to acquire these skills, or even if they do, they will find employment in other occupations. Perhaps as part of its ‘Shaping our Career Ambition’ the UK maritime sector needs to identify the underlying frictions that prevent wages from reflecting skills shortages and thus closing the skills gap? So the next time someone in the maritime sector tells you about the skills gap, ask them why it does not raise wages for the type of workers that are hard to find? Is it possible that these businesses are willing to raise wages, but unable to do so? One argument along these lines that is often offered is that a firm would not be competitive anymore if it were to raise wages for scarce skills. This argument fails to convince. If all businesses in an industry experience difficulties hiring a particular skill, a firm that would raise wages for that skill above the going rate would not only attract sufficient applicants, but could potentially choose the best workers, luring them away from their competitors. It would seem that such a move would make the firm more, not less competitive.

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