Charter for Jobs

Our 10-point Charter for Jobs calls on government and industry to secure the future of the UK maritime sector by delivering decent work and training opportunities for seafarers.

The issues

The 2016 UK referendum vote to leave the European Union provides a unique opportunity to set ambitious goals for the future of the country's maritime industries. As the UK negotiates a future outside of the European Union. the government must deliver on promises made in the run-up to the vote.

For an island nation looking to negotiate hundreds of new trade deals, the maritime sector should be at the forefront of discussions. However, the sector is often 'out of sight, out of mind'. Without the essential component of British seafarers, the continued success of the UK's maritime cluster is under threat.

What Nautilus is doing

Nautilus International is campaigning to widen public awareness of the importance of the maritime industry in the UK and encourage the industry and government to work together to deliver decent work for British seafarers.

The 10-point Charter for Jobs is an 'SOS' which sets out key objectives to secure the future of the maritime sector and ensure it delivers for UK-resident seafarers.


1. Secure 100% financial support for the cost of training UK-resident seafarers to avoid a serious skills shortage within the next decade.

2.  Review shipowner tax relief schemes (Tonnage Tax) so the UK remains attractive to owners whilst promoting the training and employment of UK seafarers.


3. Maximise the employment of British seafarers in the UK, especially in:

  • coastal shipping
  • passenger and freight ferry services
  • offshore windfarms
  • offshore oil and gas exploration and decommissioning

4. Develop a national maritime strategy with support from trade unions, government and industry.

5. Encourage investment in UK maritime education and training so it retains its world-leading status.

6.End support for the Red Ensign Group of registers and encourage British shipowners to return to the UK Ship Register.

7. Improve the system for issuing foreign seafarers with Certificates of Equivalent Competency to deliver more opportunities for British seafarers on UK ships.

8. Apply the National Minimum Wage (and the National Living Wage) and the Equality Act to all vessels engaged in UK waters.

9. Promote the employment of UK-resident seafarers on routes between UK ports (cabotage) including the North Sea offshore sector.


10. Ensure all existing health, safety, environmental and employment legislation is maintained following the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

How you can help

Watch and share the animations below that explain what seafarers do for us and why the Charter for Jobs will help to secure the future of the UK's maritime sector.

Download the Charter for Jobs supporting document, which gives a detailed explanation behind the reasons for each charter point and how they will improve the whole UK maritime sector.

Send a postcard or tweet to your MP asking them to call for a review of the system for issuing Certificates of Equivalent Competency (charter point 7). Postcards can be downloaded [link] or requested by email at

Contact your MP and ask them to ensure that National Minimum Wage and work permit requirements are applied and enforced in UK waters in the same way as they are for workers on land (charter point 8).

Ask colleagues and other maritime professionals to join the Union and add their support for the Charter for Jobs.

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10 Point Charter for Jobs

The 10-point Charter for Jobs sets out key objectives to secure the future of the maritime sector and ensure it delivers for UK-resident seafarers. Download the 10-point plan or the supporting report.

10-point Charter plan Charter for Jobs report
Nautilus news

Points based immigration system will apply to seafarers

  • News
  • 13 May 2020
Nautilus news

New minimum wage proposals a victory in campaign to protect British seafarers' jobs

  • News
  • 12 May 2020

UK government publishes maritime progress report

  • News
  • 30 July 2019
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Nautilus Strategic Campaigns Plan

The maritime industry is a global industry, which has a local impact. For our members this means that issues on the other side of the world can have a big impact on their lives.

Because of these large scale issues, the Union has been focussing more resources on strategic campaigning — fighting to secure a better deal for our members in the face of these global challenges.

At the General Meeting (GM) in 2015, the Council of Nautilus approved three strategic campaigns for the period up to the next GM in 2019: Jobs, Skills and the Future; Fair Treatment; and the Crew Communications.

Download the Strategic Campaigns Plan

Become a Nautilus member today