Maritime UK


About Us


Maritime UK is the umbrella body for the maritime sector, bringing together the shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine industries. Our purpose is to champion and enable a thriving maritime sector.

Supporting over 1 million jobs and adding £46.1bn to our economy, maritime is responsible for facilitating 95% of UK global trade, worth over £500bn per year. The UK maritime workforce is 42% more productive than the average UK worker. Maritime makes a greater contribution to the UK economy than both rail and air combined. 

From working at sea or in a port, to working in the City of London, to cleaning the oceans of plastics or designing a superyacht, maritime is big business. We add more to the economy than both rail and aviation combined. Working in maritime is exciting, rewarding and unlike any other industry. 


The sector is the fundamental enabler of British global trade and exports its own innovative products and services. With cutting-edge technology, high-quality design & manufacturing, unparalleled expertise in services and major investment opportunities, the UK is the natural home for global maritime business. Maritime is a vital part of our island nation's heritage and of our modern economy – supporting jobs, driving innovation and enabling trade. The sector also enables millions of people to enjoy the recreational benefits of the UK's coastal and inland waterways.

Responsible for enabling 95% of the UK’s global trade, maritime touches every part of our lives. Quite simply, without maritime, half the world would freeze, and half the world would starve. With the sector expected to double in size to $3trn by 2030, we need the next generation of innovators and problem solvers to join the industry and help shape the future of the world we live in. 

There are lots of different routes into a career in maritime, including a university qualification or an apprenticeship. Why not explore the sector or take a look at our careers brochure?


Apprenticeships are particularly suited to the maritime sector because so many jobs require the mix of practical learning and theoretical study which is at the heart of the apprenticeship model.  From managing a busy port to catering on a cruise ship, to lifting a customer’s yacht to building a ferry, the maritime sector offers a wide and growing range of apprenticeships as the starting-point for some very rewarding careers.

Apprenticeships mix practical learning on-the-job alongside a more experienced colleague, and more theoretical study.  They’re not just for school leavers, many people join the maritime sector after doing something else first, and an apprenticeship offers an excellent foundation, with training to a standard agreed nationally by employers.  

  • Apprenticeships are currently available for crew in the shipping sector (particularly ferries and cruise ships), with roles both on deck and in the engine room, for crew on the Thames and other inland waterways (leading to the Boatmaster licence), and for workboat operatives (mostly supporting the construction sector)
  • There is a specialist boatbuilding apprenticeship covering both building and repair for all types and sizes of boats and yachts.  And there are many related apprenticeships in the engineering field.
  • Ports offer apprenticeships for port operatives and a wide range of engineering and other roles.
  • In marinas and boatyards there are apprenticeships for the people who move and maintain, and clean customers’ boats and yachts.
  • And there’s a huge range of apprenticeships in the Royal Navy, and in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (the civilian fleet which supplies Royal Navy vessels at sea)

> Find out more: Apprenticeship

More info

Follow us here on icanbea... for the latest maritime careers news and use the links provided to our website to explore detailed maritime careers information and resources.

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