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That this House welcomes the Government's decision to retain the Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) fund; notes that the annual 12 million fund will be retained for the remainder of this Parliament; further notes that only four per cent or 500,000 of SMarT funding is spent on ratings training, with the vast majority used for officer and officer cadet training; is alarmed by the findings of the independent study into the SMarT scheme that there will be a combined deficit of 4,300 in UK officers and ratings by 2021; is concerned that around 60 per cent of UK certificated officers and 75 per cent of UK deck and engine ratings currently active at sea are aged 40 or over; and calls on the Government to use funds paid in lieu of training by shipping companies benefiting from tax breaks under the tonnage tax to fund ratings and officer training in the UK, particularly as the proportion of UK seafarers employed on tonnage tax ships declined from 52 per cent in 2001-02, when it was introduced, to 27 per cent in 2010-11.
Total number of signatures: 34
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