Mersey Maritime Gears Up For Third Industry Awards

Mersey Maritime CEO Chris Shirling-Rooke

Mersey Maritime CEO Chris Shirling-Rooke

Plans are underway for the highly-anticipated Mersey Maritime Industry Awards (MMIA) 2017 with the four Diamond Sponsors and the Drinks Sponsor already secured for the third annual event.

The MMIAs are organised by sector representative body Mersey Maritime, and the Awards recognise the excellence and diversity that exists across all sectors of the maritime industry in the North West and the Isle of Man.

The 2017 MMIAs’ four Diamond Sponsors are demolition and remediation experts Beech Group, Liverpool John Moores University, port operator Peel Ports Group, and training provider in the maritime industry Stream Marine Training.


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Mersey Maritime Host Maritime London Visit

Mersey Maritime has hosted a visit by Maritime London as part of an initiative to develop ways in which the two bodies can encourage maritime organisations to work more closely together.

Maritime London Chairman Alderman the Lord Mountevans of Chelsea, and Chief Executive Doug Barrow spent the day in Liverpool meeting with local maritime businesses and key business leaders.

The day included a tour of Liverpool2, Peel Ports’ new £300 million deep water container terminal at the Port of Liverpool which is due to open at the end of 2015.

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Mersey Maritime and Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) have signed a ground breaking Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will further enhance the close partnership between the two organisations to benefit the maritime sector as a whole.

The MoU will formalise a strategic agreement with the aim of sharing the knowledge and experience of both private and public sectors to access a variety of funding streams to finance maritime projects within the UK and EU.

Close attention will be paid to helping bridge the skills shortage in the maritime industry by developing closer links with maritime cluster organisations representing businesses and universities throughout Europe.

Maritime SMEs will have access to LJMU’s facilities including state of the art R&D laboratories and testing facilities to aid UK maritime businesses to compete on a global scale.

Resources such as intellectual property advice, training for crew and key statistical data will be available for the benefit of the industry and in the longer term links will be developed with Atlantic maritime companies and associations to further global trade.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Mersey Maritime’s Acting CEO, said: “I am really excited by this new development and look forward to working even more closely with the team at Liverpool John Moores University. Helping to create strong alliances with maritime businesses, training centres and universities across the UK and the EU is key to furthering the cause of our industry.”

Professor Ahmed Al-Shamma’a, LJMU, Executive Dean, Faculty of Technology and Environment added:  “I am truly delighted to forge such a pioneering partnership with Mersey Maritime and its members. This partnership cements our heritage as one of the oldest Nautical Institutions in the UK.

“LJMU has served the sector with innovative use of technology since 1892 and is committed to field work in generating state-of-the-art facilities for training, teaching and research. This embraces the enterprising culture of the University, which plays a key role in our civic and regional leadership.”


Mersey Maritime, a maritime cluster representing more than 1,700 businesses in the North West, is proud to announce the winners of its inaugural Industry Awards which were held at a black tie event at Wallasey Town Hall on the Wirral.

There were 9 winners on the night in categories ranging from Best Newcomer to BUsiness of the Year Award. The winners were:

– Ambassador of the Year (Sponsored by Cammell Laird) – Jim Teasdale, CEO – Mersey Maritime Group
– Best Newcomer (Sponsored by Bibby Ship Management) – McKennas Marine
– SME Business of the Year (Mersey Maritime Award) – Flynn Refrigeration
– Vocational Skills Award (Sponsored by Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)) – Kirsten Blood of Cammell Laird
– Engineering Company of the Year (Sponsored by the Maritime and Engineering College North West (MECNW)) – Sovex Systems
– Environment Award (Sponsored by The Environmental Network (TEN)) – RS Clare
– Supply Chain Partner (Sponsored by Brabners LLP) – Hughes Sub Surface Engineering
– Global Reach Award (Sponsored by NatWest) – Brookes Bell Group
– Business of the Year (Sponsored by Grant Thornton) – Peel Ports

One of the key awards was Mersey Maritime’s own award highlighting its role in supporting small to medium-sized businesses through its Maritime Sector Development Programme. The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The SME (Small to Medium-Sized Enterprise) of Year Award was presented by Ramon van Barneveld of the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) based in Brussels.

The award for Ambassador of the Year was decided by an independent judgling panel who were unanimous in choosing Jim Teasdale, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime Group, as their first recipient of the award. The award came as a complete surprise to Mr Teasdale who has successfully overcome serious illness in recent months and was at the dinner to mark his return to good health.

Describing the inaugural Industry Awards as an opportunity to showcase the breadth and diversity of the maritime industry, Chris Shirling-Rooke, Acting CEO of Mersey Maritime, said: “The Mersey Maritime Industry Awards were every bit as successful as we had hoped. We were overwhelmed with the support but also at the number of award submissions which clearly indicates the importance of these awards. The maritime industry, including MP John Hayes, the UK Shipping Minister, has wholeheartedly supported the Awards which has been fantastic.”

Key guests within the maritime sector included Esther McVey MP, Minister of State for Employment; Sir Michael Bibby, MD of Bibby Line Group; John Syvret CBE, CEO of Cammell Laird Group; Mark Whitworth, CEO of Peel Group and the Mayor of Wirral Steve Foulkes.

Mersey Maritime’s Industry Awards, aside form supporting the North West maritime industry, helped raise over £1,300 for the Fairbridge charity programme. Fairbridge is an individually tailored personal development programme for young people aged between 13 and 25. It combines one-to-one support and group activities, delivered by a dedicated team in Prince’s Trust Centres around the UK.


Mersey Maritime Apprentice Olivia (Livvy) Weston got a chance to visit No.10 Downing Street and the House of Commons after meeting the Shipping Minister, John Hayes, MP on an official visit.

The 18-year-old Apprentice, who has been with Mersey Maritime since finishing her A-levels last year, spent a day in Westminster. She visited Mr Hayes at the Department for Transport, watched a Parliamentary debate in the House of Commons and had her photo taken in front of the famous black door of No.10 Downing Street.

Former Halewood Academy pupil Livvy said: “I felt very privileged meeting Mr Hayes and visiting Parliament. His staff were extremely kind in showing me round and talking to me about their work supporting Government. It’s certainly something I’ll remember forever!”

The Shipping Minister is very supportive of apprenticeships following his time as Minister of State for Further Education, Skills & Lifelong Learning in 2010. Livvy’s invitation to visit Parliament followed a visit to Mersey Maritime by Mr Hayes.

Mr Hayes said: “Apprenticeships are incredibly important for today’s young people and I was delighted to be able to support and encourage Livvy. I hope she found her trip interesting and beneficial.”

Mersey Maritime is a strong advocate of apprenticeships and took Livvy on as its first apprentice in September 2014. Following the apprenticeship, Livvy will qualify with a City & Guilds Advanced Level 3 in Office Administration & Marketing.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Acting CEO at Mersey Maritime, said: “The Shipping Minister is always very supportive of Mersey Maritime and we cannot thank him enough for inviting Livvy to Westminster. It was a very generous gesture.”


A new Business Development Manager, Hazel Walker, has been appointed by Mersey Maritime to help implement the organisation’s development strategy over the next five years. Hazel Walker will be tasked with developing business relationships and growing the organisation’s commercially based activities to reinforce Mersey Maritime’s position as the membership organisation of choice for maritime and related sector businesses in Merseyside and beyond.

Mersey Maritime is the most successful cluster organisation of its kind in the UK, representing 1,700 maritime businesses.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Mersey Maritime’s acting CEO, said: “Hazel joins Mersey Maritime with an abundance of experience and enthusiasm and we are delighted that she has joined our business team.”

Hazel Walker added: “Before joining I was already a member so the move has felt very natural. I’m really looking forward to the new challenges ahead and to helping Mersey Maritime excel and grow in the next five years.”


Mersey Maritime is to host an Industry Awards Dinner next March with a Ministerial presence that will bring together maritime companies and related organisations right across the Maritime, Logistics and Energy spectrum in the North West.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Acting CEO of Mersey Maritime, announced: “We are delighted to launch Mersey Maritime’s Industry Awards which will be presented at a gala dinner event on 12 March 2015. It will be an annual event designed to celebrate excellence within the Maritime Logistics and Energy sectors. It will also help businesses to network while providing a forum for discussion.”

There are nine award categories:

• Business of the Year
• Vocational Skills Award (individual award)
• SME Business of the Year
• Engineering Company of the Year
• Environmental Award
• Supply Chain Partnership
• Best Newcomer (company award)
• Global Reach Award
• Ambassador of the Year Award

Event sponsors include Cammell Laird, Grant Thornton and Liverpool John Moores University, who, together with a representative from Mersey Maritime and other key business leaders, will also form the judging panel for the awards.

Application packs can be downloaded from today from Mersey Maritime’s website at: For further details please contact Mersey Maritime communications manager Annette Parker on 0151 647 4747. Applications need to be submitted by Friday 16th January 2015.


Mersey Maritime’s monthly business network ‘Face-2-Face’ continues to grow from strength to strength with the organisers expecting a sell out at their forthcoming November 4th event thanks to a famous guest presenter.

Record-breaking former English Rugby International and RAF jet pilot Rory Underwood, who has been awarded an MBE for services to rugby, now runs a successful business performance consultancy, Wingman. He has been working with Mersey Maritime over the past 12 months to provide workshops for small to medium sized (SME) businesses in the maritime sector who are signed up to Mersey Maritime’s Sector Development Programme, an initiative supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

“Our membership has been rising month on month as businesses realise the benefits of being part of our cluster,” said Chris Shirling-Rooke, Director at Mersey Maritime. “We are now offering more events than ever before; from business network sessions, industry-focused presentations and surgeries, to forums with partners on subjects as diverse as skills and Arctic warming and chairman’s dinners. Since cutting our teeth on organising a spectacular gala dinner as part of the Maritime Logistics & Energy (MLE) programme at this year International Festival for Business, we have also added regular social events to our programme.”

The Face-2-Face event takes place at the offices of Mersey Maritime in Birkenhead from 07.45am to 09.00am on Tuesday 04 November.

The event is regularly oversubscribed so maritime sector business people wishing to attend are advised to reserve a place by contacting Mersey Maritime on tel: 0151 647 4747.


Fears that UK industry is failing to tackle widespread skills shortages and that skill sets are falling short of employers’ expectations can be avoided if business leaders and training colleges work more closely together, according to the head of one of the region’s major engineering training centres.

Terry Weston, Skills Director at Maritime & Engineering College North West (MECNW), a Mersey Maritime Group Company, warned: “The effect of skills shortages is already being widely felt in today’s workforce. While it will take some time to adequately address this issue, it is vital that the process gets underway. Employers need to work with colleges like MECNW to upskill existing staff and invest in accredited apprenticeship training to ensure they are able to meet current and future demand.”

He added: “MECNW experience proves that tailoring each apprenticeship model for the individual employer works, being prepared to abandon traditional models of delivery, protecting the entry level requirements to ensure better candidates, and extensively engaging the employer in the direct training of the apprentice.”

He was responding to a recent survey by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in its ninth annual Engineering and Technology: Skills & Demand in Industry report, which revealed that companies are hiring at the fastest rate for 16 years and yet skill sets are falling short of employers’ expectations.

The IET report revealed that over half of employers (51%) were recruiting engineering staff this year and were finding it difficult to meet demand. Out of those employed, 44% of engineering, IT and technical recruits did not meet employers’ expected standards.

Mr Weston said: “A recent Ofsted inspection of MECNW commented that many of our first and second year apprentices are working at levels not expected of them until their final year. This supports our view that apprenticeships work, can contribute in a more timely way and more importantly, support the wider skills gap solution.”

Mersey Maritime Brings Big Names to Merseyside

Next month, local businesses will have the opportunity to discuss the future challenges faced by the shipping industry in Liverpool with Mark Robertshaw, Bibby Ship Management’s Managing Director of the Isle of Man office and Commercial Director, at Mersey Maritime’s networking event “Face-2-Face”. In addition to being the guest speaker, Mark Robertshaw will be exploring hot topics and industry trends.

Taking place on the 2nd September, the “Face-2-Face” event brings key industry figures to the heart of the shipping industry to network and create stronger local business relationships.

Face-2-Face and other industry events run by Mersey Maritime have brought big players to Mersey Maritime’s HQ in recent months, such as: Maria Damanaki, EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs; Esther McVey MP, Minister for Employment; Sir Michael Bibby, Managing Director of Bibby Line Group; Gary Hodgson, the Chief Operating Officer for Peel Ports Group; Vice Admiral Sir Tim McClement KCB OBE, Chairman of Protection Vessels International; to name a few.

The industry forum for members, prospective members and stakeholders from the maritime, logistic and energy community meets monthly at Mersey Maritime to collaborate and network.

The forum, which is supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)[see editor’s notes] covers news updates, informal networking, two-way discussion, the building of collaboration networks and stronger local supply chains and a guest speaker presentation.

The event is regularly oversubscribed so business people wishing to attend are advised to reserve a place by contacting Mersey Maritime on tel: 0151 647 4747.


Maritime and Engineering College North West (MECNW), a Mersey Maritime Group company, has been praised in a preliminary report by Ofsted that positions the college as Merseyside’s leading provider of Engineering Apprenticeships. Key clients of the college include Cammell Laird and Peel Ports.

The news comes at a time when the college has recently announced that it is set to double in size and accommodate up to 500 apprentices. It also coincides with Merseyside’s £2bn Superport programme which is due to open late 2015. The Liverpool2 container terminal is set to create 56,000 new jobs over the next decade for Maritime Logistics and Energy sector.

Mersey Maritime Group Chief Executive Jim Teasdale said: “The whole team has worked extremely hard in recent years to make MECNW the training centre of choice for engineering apprentices and it’s incredibly satisfying to see that effort recognised by Ofsted.

“We take pride in our ability to build strong relationships with our clients. Major employers both within and outside of the maritime sector choose MECNW for their engineering apprenticeship programmes, as do large numbers of smaller businesses from across the region. What brings them to MECNW is the knowledge that investing in high quality training and skills is key to future growth and that MECNW is increasingly their provider of choice.”

MECNW Skills Director Terry Weston said: “We are delighted with the Ofsted report which can only strengthen the reputation of the Maritime and Engineering College North West as a leader within the maritime sector for producing outstanding apprentices.”