Solent marine group set to launch new £1.5m fund

Carillion apprentices have been offered help from colleges including Fareham College after the firm went bust Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Colleges team up to help Carillion apprentices

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A TASK group aimed at boosting the region’s marine and maritime industries has announced a new fund worth £1.5m will be launched next month.

Solent Local Enterprise Partnership’s Solent Marine and Maritime Steering Group had its inaugural meeting on Tuesday and announced a £1.5m fund to help marine employers invest in their current and future workforce.

The Solent Employer Ownership Programme will open in September and allow marine businesses to bid for money to develop proposals to create jobs, raise skills, and drive enterprise and economic growth in the Solent.

Brian Johnson, the group’s chairman, said: ‘Technological advances and changes to the occupational structure are driving up skills requirements across the marine and maritime sectors.

‘Although we have an excellent skills infrastructure and the building blocks for a world-class workforce, we need to address the fact that 20 per cent of employers are already experiencing recruitment difficulties.’

Clive Johnson, managing director at Magma Structures and one of the members of the group, said: ‘The beauty of the new group is it brings together experts with such a wide range of experience across the marine and maritime sectors.

‘The combined knowledge of these individuals will help to address the challenges the industry faces, specifically in the Solent.’

Member Daniel Hook, managing director at ASV Ltd, added: ‘My hopes and aspirations for the group are that it will provide real help to companies on the ground in the Solent.’