Exciting times in the Naval Shipbuilding industry

I was recently discussing with a potential client about why they should use Marine People and myself.

Despite being UK based I have always worked with a wide range of clients around the world, with a particular focus on European, North American and Australian Naval projects. Of course, the UK and Australia couldn’t be much further apart in terms of geography, but I have never seen that as an issue.

For me, being able to speak to a recruiter who can make you aware of roles in-country and internationally is far more valuable and helps to foster long-term relationships. Of course, the argument can be that it makes no sense to use a UK firm to hire Canadians for a Canadian shipbuilding project (For argument's sake). But if that recruiter specialises in that area, understands your requirements, has contacts in that region, can deliver, then what does it matter? Especially with today’s technology and various other means of communicating now available.

In the office, we cater our hours accordingly to match our clients’ needs - to help reduce time zone differences. Anyone who knows me or has worked with me previously knows I will always make myself available whenever needed.

Despite being effective at opperating from the UK on overseas projects, an Australian office is something that we are seriously looking into.

Recently we have been in dialogue with an Australian organisation that wants assistance in identifying highly skilled shipbuilding candidates. We have been talking about the option of me spending some time in the business to get used to the culture of the organisation and to be involved with the hiring process. We will be looking to hire ten candidates early next year. It’s an exciting project to be involved with and we are looking at moving quickly on all the positions with the market being increasingly buoyant and competitive. For me, jumping on a plane to come back to Australia is something I am really looking forward to.  And I look forward to visiting more regularly over the coming years.

Whilst it is an important part of any business, for a recruiter your role is pretty simple. Find suitable candidates and look to manage them throughout the process - working closely with your clients along the way. For me, you build relationships by providing a good service to candidates and clients and meeting when possible.

I was recently at the Pacific 2019 Exposition in Sydney and enjoyed meeting clients old and new. I would actually argue that over the years my best business was done over a coffee or a beer rather than sitting in a boardroom for hours on end.

Shipbuilding has so many exciting projects and is a very niche skillset. Of course, there are transferrable skills, but like every project & industry, you do need subject matter experts at various levels. Which due to the level of projects internationally are becoming increasingly thin on the ground. Again, being well networked in that sector is key.

I have always been a big believer in that candidates & clients should aim to work with the best recruiters in their relevant area. Not just pick a recruitment company.  Of course, this is easier said than done and there are circumstances where an agency will advertise a candidate’s ideal job, they hit apply and everyone is happy. However, in most circumstances, it isn't the case. Especially with how competitive the market is now becoming. Ultimately this does take some time with identifying relevant recruiters for your area, but for me this is valuable. A lot of candidates & clients we work with tend to come from our network/ referrals. For me people buy people.

An added advantage of Marine People is our affiliations with STEM returners and IMarEST allowing us to offer much more than your standard agency.

It is a very exciting time in Shipbuilding, and I look forward to continuing to support our clients around the world with both local and international opportunities and hires.

James Martin - Managing Director of Marine People 

Boris Johnson’s pledge to bring shipbuilding back to the UK

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced his pledge to bring shipbuilding back to the UK in a bid to strengthen the Royal Navy. The new PM spoke of his aim to create ‘thousands’ of shipping industry jobs over the next decade at London International Shipping week whilst on the Thames.

The speech given by the Prime Minister also revealed the Governments’ preffered bidder for the Type 31e frigate project. Engineering firm Babcock won the contract worth £1.25bn for the five warships, which will see hundreds of jobs created in Scotland at Rosyth shipyard where the ships will be assembled.

The project also aims to export the remaining ships to overseas, with the ‘e’ in the Type 31’s name referring to ‘exportability.’

The programme will support over 2,500 jobs across the country with the ships being built exclusively in the UK.

The announcement comes as part of the Prime Minister’s goal to strengthen the British shipbuilding industry by expanding on the success of the Type 26 frigates, which were designed in the UK and widely exported to overseas navies.

“This is an industry with a deep and visceral connection to so many parts of the UK and to the Union itself.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

“My government will do all it can to develop this aspect of our heritage and the men and women who make up its workforce – from apprentices embarking on a long career, to those families who have worked in shipyards for generations.”

The Prime Minister has also appointed Defence Secretary Ben Wallace as Shipbuilding Tsar with part of his brief focussing on at how the government can use Further Education, skilled apprenticeships and graduates to achieve a sustainable, longer term skills base for British shipbuilding across the UK.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace highlighted the important role the new frigates will play in the Royal Navy.

“The Type 31 frigates will be a fast, agile and versatile warship, projecting power and influence across the globe.

“The ships will be vital to the Royal Navy’s mission to keeping peace, providing life-saving humanitarian aid and safeguarding the economy across the world from the North Atlantic, to the Gulf, and in the Asia Pacific.”

Babcocks' Arrowhead140 Frigate, which won the £1.25bn Government Type 31e contract. Credit: Babcock International Vimeo

Babcock International Group - Arrowhead140 from Babcock International on Vimeo.

Three steps to make your LinkedIn profile a useful tool in your job search

There’s no doubt that LinkedIn is the most important social media for professionals – but how can you use the site and your profile to land your perfect job?

Step one– Make sure your profile represents the very best of you.

Any online profile you have should be an ideal depiction of yourself - LinkedIn's professional nature, however, means your profile is regularly going to be viewed by recruiters and industry professionals. Make sure your profile gives an accurate representation of your skills and experiences in the same way your CV would.

The basics are:

  • Keeping it easy to read
  • Coming up with a catchy headline
  • Updating regularly
  • Arranging in order of relevance

Don't confuse these tips with making your profile a carbon copy of your CV. Many recruiters may glance at a page and be turned away by a lack of activity, so keep updating! LinkedIn also has lots of features you can use to keep your page interesting - why not try uploading a presentation or video that shows the very best of you?


Step two – Use your connections!

Don’t go gung-ho and connect with everyone you come across. Find connections that people in your network share. Find members that will prove useful in the future, even once you’ve found your perfect role.

This take time, your connections should be regularly reviewed to make sure your network is giving you the best insights and updates from your industry.


Step three– Learn about employers.

When using the dedicated jobs tab on LinkedIn, make sure you study each employer’s page. This gives you the perfect chance to analyse your potential employers content and branding. For many B2B focused companies, LinkedIn is their most important social media profile – if you can cater your application towards an employers LinkedIn page, you’ll go a long way towards getting an interview.


Finally got an interview for your first engineering role? Check out our tips here.

New engineering society calls for measures to combat STEM shortage in the UK

A new group comprised of 39 British engineering organisations, the National Engineering Policy Centre has announced its first manifesto – calling on the UK Government to deliver on a number of issues related to STEM industries and the economy.

The group - formed in January 2019 - represents 450,000 engineers and has called on policymakers to ensure the UK retains an adequate supply of engineering talent.

The shortage of STEM workers is estimated to be costing businesses £1.5 billion a year, according to a 2018 study by educational group STEM Learning – and with Brexit looming the 560,000 STEM roles currently occupied by EU nationals, may need to be filled at short notice.

The manifesto, published on August 27th, calls for 20 actions across five key policy areas including:

-      An increase in funding for Innovate UK – to boost productivity.

-      Deliver a fast and resilient digital infrastructure

-      Set out alternative plans to meet the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs.

-      Invest in the demonstration and deployment of new low-carbon heat, charging of electric vehicles and carbon capture and storage technologies.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

“From skills and infrastructure to energy and climate change, engineering expertise is critical to the challenges the UK faces, and the engineering profession stands ready to help policymakers navigate these. The issues we have identified here require long-term planning and action, irrespective of how the UK’s relationship with the European Union changes over the next few months.

“The actions we propose today will enable the UK to make investment decisions that will create jobs and prosperity and drive sustainability, helping to build an economy and society ready to face the future. We look forward to working with policymakers from across the political spectrum to achieve these aims.”

Recruitment agency STEM Returners have been a company at the forefront of bridging the gap between vacant roles and qualified STEM workers in the UK, with their unique programme that aims to return engineers to work following a career break.

The company has had particular success at placing women into engineering roles, where currently they only occupy one in ten positions.

STEM Shortage, how the numbers add up.

Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners, said:

“We welcome the call for action from the National Engineering Policy Centre, in particular, the focus on implementing the recommendations of the Perkins Review.

“The UK has a significant skills gap and at STEM Returners we are committed to ensuring we help both prospective and existing engineers who may have fallen out of the industry back into roles.

“50% of the roles in the government's Shortage Occupation List are engineering positions.

Ensuring we plug the skills gap in the UK is crucial to creating a vibrant and dynamic STEM sector.”

How to ace your first engineering interview

You’ve got your qualifications and now you’re ready to enter the world of employment as an engineer- but how do you make sure you knock that first interview out of the park? We’ve got some tips for fledgling engineers.


As the adage goes – fail to prepare and you are preparing to fail – and that couldn’t be truer for new engineers. Make sure you do your research on the company and its directors, making note of those who would be working closely with the role you’re applying for.

Bringing resources to an interview can also help you land the role, taking extra copies of CV’s and references is an excellent way to show your potential employer you can plan ahead.

At Marine People, our consultants provide mentoring and support for our candidates, to help make you feel extra confident for that big interview.



This one is relevant to almost any interview or meeting, your manners and appearance are without doubt one of the most important things recruiters take note of when interviewing.

·     Look the part - Candidates who lack personal hygiene and don’t dress to impress often fail an interview before it’s begun – so tuck in that shirt!

·     Speak with a smile - Your body language helps you get your points across, so even if you’re nervous, make sure you smile, shake hands and make eye contact. Even if your interview is via phone or Skype, your body language is vitally important.


Know what you’re good at!

·     Don’t sweat the small stuff. There’s a reason the hiring manager gave you an interview – re-read your CV and try to think of the sections a recruiter might be interested in.

·     Don’t panic. If there’s a question you don’t know the answer to, be honest. For a graduate or entry-level role, companies aren’t looking for the finished article, show the recruiter you're willing to learn.


If you're having trouble getting an interview, have a look at our six DO's when writing a winning CV.

Marine People and Wärtsilä join forces to provide graduate and entry-level opportunities

Global marine and energy giant Wärtsilä has teamed up with Marine People to become the latest industry leader to provide new exciting positions, allowing entry-level and graduate engineers a chance to work in the marine industry.

The move to expand Wärtsilä’s Havant site follows the company’s commitment to bringing through the very best new and existing engineers in the South Coast and UK as a whole, which is recovering from a shortage of STEM professionals.

Part of Wärtsilä’s pledge to grow the marine engineering sector, involves the supply of a full suite of simulators for a new training facility at Solent University’s Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering, in Southampton. The 22 simulators supplied to the Maritime Academy include eight navigational bridges, seven DP simulators and two ECDIS classrooms with liquid cargo handling.

The maritime academy saw 187 Cadet Officers graduate from the class of 2018 an increase of 59 from the 2017 passing out ceremony – following the university’s £43m pound maritime investment project, which included the £7m simulator centre.

Marine People Director James Martin,

“It’s really good to see new roles being created on the South Coast, especially those that are accessible to graduates.

“The investment in maritime from industry leaders and education centres like the Warsash Maritime Academy are essential for ensuring we can produce the next generation of STEM workers in the UK.

"For Marine People to be able to work with renowned global corporations such as Wärtsilä showcases our commitment to providing excellent roles for our candidates."

For more information on these roles please contact Marine People on 01794 336 211 or george.dummett@marinepeople.com