£2.4m funding to support seafarers’ mental wellbeing

£2.4 million has been allocated for projects to support seafarers’ mental wellbeing and support the maritime sector. The government says it has partnered with three organisations across the UK to deliver pilot projects to provide everyday support for seafarers wellbeing and mental health. This comes as part of a new Recovery Route Map, setting out the actions to help the sector recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The funding is for projects supporting seafarers’ wellbeing and maritime skills, diversity and careers.

Maritime minister Robert Courts says the funding will support a review of ‘Ratings’ training including for roles such as deck, engine room, hospitality and catering in the maritime industry, to be carried out by the Maritime Skills Commission as well as supporting the maritime sector in creating a highly skilled, well supported workforce.

“Seafarer wellbeing is at the heart of our Maritime 2050 agenda,” says Courts. “We know that mental health difficulties at sea affect thousands of seafarers. We are committed to tackling this, and building a diverse, highly skilled and exciting sector across the board – from shipbuilders to bosuns.

“This funding will help us tackle this problem by supporting the excellent work being done by charities and social organisations, and foster new programmes.”

“Our Maritime Futures initiative fulfils the educational aspirations of the government’s Maritime 2050 strategy,” says Rachel Kitley, principal of Cowes Enterprise College. “It seamlessly integrates robust disciplinary knowledge with hands-on maritime projects, raises awareness of the maritime sector and provides students with meaningful encounters with maritime employers. We are thrilled that funding from the Department for Transport will enable us to disseminate this model at pace, particularly in coastal communities. Simultaneously, Maritime Futures will contribute to raising attainment for students in disadvantaged areas and raise the profile of the maritime industry.”

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