Department for Transport
Printable version

Brexit Britain will have the world's best maritime industry

Announces plans to shape, promote and collaborate with the maritime sector, double apprenticeships and launch a shipbuilding renaissance.

Brexit Britain will be the best country in the world to do maritime business thanks to more trade opportunities, more jobs and more investment in new technologies, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said today (11 September 2017).

The government has committed to working with industry to deliver an ambitious export plan for when we leave the European Union.

This will maximise new trade opportunities and significantly grow the UK’s maritime sector to become a global front runner in future innovation and technology.

The government will achieve this by:

  • creating a plan to shape and promote the maritime industry up to 2050
  • collaborating with industry partners to significantly grow the sector by seizing new trade opportunities
  • calling on maritime employers to double the number of apprenticeships they offer
  • launching a British shipbuilding ‘renaissance’ as part of the National Ship Building Strategy

The Transport Secretary spoke ahead of at a meeting with international industry figures at 10 Downing Street on Monday to kick-off London International Shipping Week, the biggest promotional UK shipping event in recent history.

Mr Grayling will shortly announce plans for a public discussion to help shape and promote the future of the maritime industry both up to 2050 and beyond.

This vision will looks at how the government can support future growth in an industry which directly supports at least 111,000 jobs and contributes around £15 billion to the UK economy each year.

The Department for Transport will also call on employers to double the number of apprentices they employ in order to boost skills, jobs, and productivity across the UK.

This announcement comes after the government published its ‘National Ship Building Strategy’, which aims to step up a prospective ‘renaissance’ in British shipbuilding.

Building on the government’s industrial strategy, it outlines an ambition to transform the procurement of naval ships, make the UK’s maritime industry more competitive and grow the Royal Navy fleet by the 2030s.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

Leaving the European Union will allow Britain to seize new opportunities and rediscover our heritage as a truly global, seafaring, trading nation.

Our maritime industry, far from being a story of the past, is a thriving success story – worth around £15 billion a year to our economy and supporting a quarter of a million jobs.

This government is determined to work with the maritime industry to help it grow significantly and make the UK a world leader for shipping business.

The roundtable summit of maritime leaders at 10 Downing Street will strengthen the partnership with investors and UK exporters and identify post-EU exit opportunities.

Shipping week will highlight the opportunities to boost trade and investment in the sector as the UK leaves the European Union and looks to strike new deals with nations around the world.

The government has already made good progress to bolster our trade and export relationships including by supporting the first Maritime UK trade mission to China and Hong Kong.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said:

The UK’s maritime industry brings billions of pounds a year into our economy and will be vital to our continued prosperity when we leave the European Union. As an international economic department, our ambition is that we lead the way in world-class shipbuilding and maritime technology.

I’m delighted to be here at London Shipping Week to demonstrate our commitment to strengthen this thriving industry and promote the very best of British maritime innovation to the world.

The government has already implemented the recommendations from the 2015 maritime growth study including setting up a ministerial working group for maritime growth. We have also supported maritime training for officers/cadets through the £15 million SMarT budget.

The work to develop a vision for the maritime sector will include maximising the value of new trade deals and a maritime skills strategy that identifies the industry’s future skills needs and the steps required to achieve them.

The ship building strategy also aims to increase the export British ships overseas, and boost innovation, skills, jobs, and productivity across the UK.

Maritime media enquiries

Media enquiries 020 7944 3021

Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292

Switchboard 0300 330 3000


Channel website:

Share this article

Latest News from
Department for Transport