And young people are being urged to consider taking up maritime careers as the freeports announcement is expected to create a 170,000 jobs bonanza in the next five to 10 years across seven coastal regions in the UK, including Portsmouth
Maritime UK is now calling on the next generation to take a fresh look at the industry, to support international trade and power the green industrial revolution.
Sarah Kenny, chair of Maritime UK, said: ‘To all of Portsmouth’s future adventurers, engineers and technology visionaries – maritime needs you.
‘At sea or on shore, you can make a difference by keeping our country supplied and developing the solutions we need to tackle climate change.
‘Whether you are at university, thinking about an apprenticeship, or considering your next career move: think maritime if you want to shape the future of our planet.’
Charlotte Saunders is an apprentice marketing admin assistant at Portsmouth International Port.
She urged people to consider the sector – for a wide variety of roles.
She said: ‘I’d always wanted to get into marketing and communications but hadn’t considered doing this in maritime. A great opportunity came up through the council for an apprenticeship in my home city and I’m so pleased with how things have worked out.
‘There are some great and varied roles across the sector and my advice to any young jobseeker would be to stay open-minded – there’s something there for everyone.’
Maritime is responsible for enabling 95 per cent of the UK’s trade and will be key to the race to net zero, with the industry developing battery and hydrogen powered ships, alongside coastal charging points.
AI is also disrupting the sector with the world’s first fully autonomous ship, the Mayflower, expected to set sail to the US without any humans on board in a few weeks.
The global industry is expected to double in size to $3trn by 2030, with the UK, as a maritime nation, looking to play a leading role.
Jobs in maritime can be in any of its industries: shipping, ports, professional services and finance, engineering like shipbuilding or leisure including superyachts and boating.
The average salary for sector is £11,700 more than the national average.
There are wide and varying career entry routes, with Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) skills offering the best chance to join maritime.
Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust is launching a marine and maritime careers course backed by Olympic sailing gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie and British sailor Alex Thomson.
Chris Willis, executive leader at the Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust, said: ‘I’m often asked about what makes for an ideal maritime student. The truth is that there is no such thing: maritime is for everybody.
‘Regardless of your background, or whether you fit a 'traditional mould', the industry has a huge amount of potential to offer the next generation. You don’t even have had to spent any time at sea.
‘If you’re curious about our world and its waters, and want to make your positive impact, maritime could most definitely be for you.’