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British Marine Scotland Newsletter Nov 21 Chairmen's Welcome

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British Marine Scotland Newsletter, Chairmen’s Welcome

Welcome to the new British Marine Scotland newsletter. We hope you will like the new look and that you will continue to respond and contribute member news for inclusion in this and other British Marine publications.

The 2021 season is now largely over but has seen more people using their boats, brokerage and new boat sales under a lot of pressure with limited supply and more people trying out water-based activities. Conversations with members suggest it has been a busy year for them, but one that has been challenged by COVID recovery and supply issues. The generally great weather this summer has attracted more staycation and cruising customers and this has seen all destinations, and most tourism sectors, reporting high levels of activity. Visitors are discovering what a fantastic and diverse destination Scotland is and many are talking of returning.

An additional focus at British Marine Scotland is now to look to how the industry can capitalise on the positives from this season and build on this for future years. We would like to hear from you about any ideas you have to do this. Certainly, as the Marine Leisure Sector builds we must also work to ensure that the quality of our “offer” develops along with demand and that we constantly aim to train more skilled people to deliver excellent service in all our disciplines – by attracting more young people into the industry or retraining others from outside the sector.  

This issue is not new and British Marine Scotland has over recent years produced a careers video to encourage interest in the sector, developed a Boat Building and Repair Modern Apprenticeship, assisted in careers fairs and supported members to get involved in working with schools - to tell people about the varied and rewarding careers on offer. We have also invited new members to join the board to better understand the education, skills and training arena. We know from conversations with members that further investment in marine careers, skills and training is needed and we continue to push this with Scottish Government and other agencies and this will be one of the main topics for discussion at our AGM.

To gain support from the public sector we need to have up to date facts and we will shortly be carrying out a survey to better understand current recruitment and training issues. Please take time to respond to this.

Please do join us on-line for the AGM, at 4 pm on 25 November for some chat and catching up with other members – the administrative bit will be kept very short.

Giant Strides, the Marine Tourism Strategy for Scotland, has been making progress too and Strategic Lead, James Stuart has been continuing work behind the scenes to build the Giant Strides partnership. The gradual emergence from the pandemic and a busy summer have rightly been the priority over the last few months but as we enter the shoulder of the season, now is the time to ramp up our activity and help to build the sector through the winter and towards the 2022 season. Watch out for more information on the Giant Strides partnership soon.

We hope you enjoy this first issue of the new British Marine Scotland newsletter and look forward to hearing your feedback.

Best regards,

Simon Limb and Martin Latimer

Joint Chairmen, British Marine Scotland