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Southampton port has key role in Brexit says maritime minister

Southampton is in a prime position to make the most of the benefits after the UK leaves the EU according to the maritime minister as she visits the city’s port.

Maritime minister Nusrat Ghani is touring DP World Southampton and some of the cruise ships in the dock as part of a visit to the city today.

Speaking as part of her tour, she has praised the facility as a leading UK port, and that the flagship vessels to dock bring £2.5-million to the area’s economy.

The minister has also promoted the industry as a future career during exam season, adding that there is “no disputing” how important the maritime sector is.

Maritime minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Today, as I tour some of the maritime businesses which have helped make Southampton – and the UK – what it is, it’s become clear to me the outstanding opportunities for young people within a world-leading industry.

“And given the maritime industry impacts on every household in this country, providing 25 per cent of fuel and almost half of our food, it’s surprising that many young people don’t have a possible career in the sector at the forefront of their minds.

“It’s clear to me that we need to inspire the next generation of officers, engineers and port workers, so that the city of Southampton can continue to thrive, and towns around the UK can continue to benefit from its imported goods.”

The minister said she had already announced a doubling in funding for the training of ship’s officer cadets, from £15 million to £30 million every year.

“This means that over the next seven years, we’ll see the number of cadets rise to 1,200 per year.

“I am looking forward to meeting some of these future leaders later today when I visit Warsash Maritime Academy.

“I have launched a taskforce to look at what can be done to encourage more women into the sector. There’s no disputing how important our maritime sector is – about 95 per cent of all the UK’s trade comes through our ports. And the majority of our cars are also transported through Southampton, adding up to a third of all exports.

“As a leading UK port, Southampton is in prime position to take advantage of the new opportunities arising from leaving the EU, and of a new cohort of highly skilled young people looking to make their mark in the maritime world.”