Memorandum by Lloyd's Register (FUS 8)
Lloyd's Register firmly believes that a strong
UK merchant fleetboth in terms of the ships and shipping
operations based in this country and the skills and resources
that these provide for other businessesis vital to the
UK as a whole.
The City has the largest concentration of maritime
services and expertise in the world, built originally on the basis
of a strong national fleet. These include marine insurance, protection
and indemnity, shipbroking, ship sales, banking, maritime law
and arbitration and ship classification and are a major contributor
to the UK's balance of payments through the "invisible"
earnings they generate.
For Lloyd's Register and the business of ship
classification, the very large reduction in the merchant fleet
and in shipbuilding in the UK has meant an enormous loss of the
advantage we once enjoyed versus our major competitors in Norway
As a result we have had to look to our international
network to find the experienced resources and shipbuilding markets
required to maintain our premier role in ship classification.
At the same time we have increased our intake of young graduate
engineers and naval architects in the UK to make up the deficit
in numbers of mature experienced UK staff and set up a special
four year training scheme leading to chartered engineer status.
However, despite success in finding qualified
staff overseas, the supply of experienced recruits from the remaining
operations in UK is still extremely important to us; not least
to provide the practical skills base for further on-the-job training
for the young graduates who are now a significant part of our
There is also the possible danger of a reduction
in this limited resource of young graduates if UK shipping is
allowed to decline since our universities may well be forced to
cut back on the relevant courses in naval architecture and engineering
as demand for university places follows that decline in shipping.
In summary, the leading position of Lloyd's
Register depends on the continued existence of a strong UK shipping
industry, not only for the direct work it creates but the infrastructure
it provides for our operation.
This includes, among other things, education
and training facilities together with research and development.
Without this infrastructure and the engineers and naval architects
it requires and delivers, our organisation could not survive in
its present form. As a result we would need to move the core of
our marine operation, including most HQ functions, out of the
UK to where the shipping industry was of the size and strength
to meet our requirements for educated and trained staff and a
Patrick O'Ferrall OBE
1 December 1998