Maritime UK, the umbrella body for the UK maritime sector, published a Sector Recovery Plan after COVID-19. The plan sets out joint action for both industry and government across the three stages of recovery from the coronavirus crisis: Restart, recover, renew.
Developed in cooperation of Maritime UK with its trade association and regional cluster members, the Recovery Plan was tabled at Monday’s meeting of the Department for Transport’s Restart and Recovery Working Group.
It is vital that government and industry work together to get all parts of the sector back on their feet and operating as soon as possible,
…said Harry Theochari, Maritime UK Chair.
Namely, the Maritime Sector Recovery Plan identifies the following priorities:
- Environment – Drive green growth to meet the UK’s net-zero commitments.
- Regional growth – Ensure a regionally balanced recovery that stimulates economic development in coastal communities.
- People – Enrich our workforce and recognise how Coronavirus has changed both working practices and projected labour market forecasts.
- Innovation – Foster increased levels of research and innovation to respond to the significant challenges and opportunities the global maritime sector faces.
- Competitiveness – Boost exports and maximise the attractiveness of the UK’s business environment.
Whilst some parts of the sector are getting back to business, others will be unable to do so for a substantial period of time, either due to compliance with government policy or due to the seasonality of the trade. Indeed, some parts of the sector are only now entering their most depressed period.
The three stages
The initial stage of economic recovery concerns restarting after lockdown, as phased reopening begins. Coronavirus has had a significant impact on maritime businesses across the UK. Specifically, 66% of maritime businesses surveyed expected their turnover to decrease due to the pandemic.
In the restart phase, it is critical to ensure comprehensive planning, consistency, and a consideration of those areas of activity that will not be able to restart.
As the economy returns to a relative normality, the impacts of crisis will continue across all sectors.
Therefore, the second phase of recovery will be about building further resilience for maritime companies and ensure they recover a level of viability.
This phase will include provision of new support initiatives, sharing best practice and signposting support.
In the longer term, serious effects from the pandemic will need long-term action to respond.
The issues, on which this sector can support transformational change, include driving economic growth in coastal communities and through green growth.
In this section the Plan identifies existing relevant strategies, such as Maritime 2050 and the Five-Year Plan for maritime exports and investment.
Finally, the Plan reappraises industry’s prioritisation of Maritime 2050 recommendations. To remind, the strategy is based on seven core ambitions:
- UK competitive advantage;
Maritime UK is briefing Ministers and Shadow Ministers on the Plan this week.
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