Minister’s praise for work of port’s Nautical Campus

Pictures:Bill Johnson.'Blackpool and the Fylde College Fleetwood Nautical Campus.
Pictures:Bill Johnson.'Blackpool and the Fylde College Fleetwood Nautical Campus.

Fleetwood’s Nautical Campus has been described as a 
beacon of excellence by a 
leading MP.

Shadow Maritime Minister Gordon Mardsen, who is also the MP for Blackpool South, was full of praise for the facility after visiting the site.

Mr Marsden said he had noted the success and expansion of the campus, which is part of Blackpool and The 
Fylde College.

The minister was welcomed by campus head Neil Atkinson, and shown the full range of facilities at the 
recently-redeveloped £7.5m facility, talking to staff and trainers.

Mr Marsden saw hands-on 
simulated engine steering and navigational exercises being carried out by both UK and international students doing courses and qualifications.

Mr Marsden said: “The 
facilities here are fantastic and so is the range of provision – including off-shore training for wind farms and energy – and equipping students for 
careers on UK and international vessels.

“They are combining state-of-the-art 21st century digital systems and training with the traditional methods of 
seamanship and navigation.

“It’s no accident that the campus has won the top 
officer training awards six years out of seven in the UK.

“Their success here needs to be boosted and replicated countrywide with renewed and urgent Government 
support for training.

“Demand and capacity is expanding rapidly in shipping and maritime work worldwide, with a huge increase in world trade, oil production and containerisation.”

But the MP said the UK had a major skills gap which the college was taking 
advantage of.

He added: “I have got my shadow ministerial colleagues in the treasury and 
business departments to 
work with me on a series of regular meetings with the shipping industry, college reps, the unions and others to see how we put 
increased skills and training in the shipping sector.”