Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 480 - 485)



  480. The industry widely represented as employers and trade unions.
  (Mr Jones) Yes.

  481. Are there trade union representations on all of those things.
  (Mr Jones) Trade unions have been consulted on the development of standards.

  482. Consulted, but not part of the original negotiations. We have been told that the British Board of Industry Training is dominated by employers; is that unfair?
  (Mr Sloggett) In the sense that that part of our money which comes from the industry comes from employers, I think that is fair, but as you were told earlier on we now have two board members on BPIT who have come from TGWU and NUMAST, so we do now have, very recently, union representation on our board.

  483. Are you satisfied with the length of time it has taken the Government to produce Modern Ports, a United Kingdom Policy?
  (Mr Sloggett) It has certainly taken the Government longer than we expected for it to produce this document. I think that certainly BPIT feels it says the right things about training. I think we are grateful for the support that we are getting from Government in that situation.

  484. Are you over-reliant upon seafarers for many of the jobs in your ports?
  (Mr Jones) Some 20 per cent of people are on the marine side, they work afloat or they have a marine based job, such as working on a lock. Of those 20 per cent practically all of the people who work in a management capacity or as pilots are from a marine background.

  485. If for any reason the number of people available began to drop would you be in difficulty and have you thought about that? Are you training people?
  (Mr Jones) Very much so. We are aware that there is a reduction in the availability of qualified ex-mariners coming ashore. Some ports are reporting this now, although I have to say that it is very much regional, and some ports have no problems whatsoever because they are in prime areas. What we are doing to try and address this problem currently is we are looking at the possibility of developing a marine modern apprenticeship which would attract young people to come in and they would have self-appropriate training and work experience within the port and they would have, hopefully, some time at sea and by the time they are about 25 they have got their modern apprenticeship and their Level 3 NVQ and they can start deciding which route they want to go down, they might want to become a pilot or a harbour master. That is something that we are currently addressing and that may plug the gap. We hope that policy in British shipping will improve and that will be a long-term improvement.

  Chairman: It seems a bit unfair but when you do your survey guarantee can you, as quickly as possible, let the Committee have some indication of what your first survey finds and if you can give us a short note on some of the other aspects that you find from the responses that you get. Could you also attach a short note on the effect the National Training Scheme is having, that would be very helpful. Thank you all for being so tolerant.

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