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UK Chamber president highlights immigration 'madness'

UK Chamber president highlights immigration 'madness'
The UK's stance on immigration is restricting recruitment of talent in the shipping industry, the UK Chamber of Shipping president stated in his inaugural speech last night.

Addressing industry colleagues at a reception at the Chamber's offices in London yesterday, newly elected president Tom Boardley targeted immigration as a barrier to the shipping industry's growth.

“Too often, inward investors are finding it more difficult to create skilled shoreside jobs in the UK because work permits for business leaders and their employees are getting harder to come by, often forcing them to leave our country and go elsewhere," Boardley asserted.

“It is madness. It is totally blind to the realities of modern, global business, and if we are to be a world leading country for maritime services - frankly, if we are to be a world leading country for business full stop, it has to change.“

Boardley, marine director at Lloyd's Register, also said that while the UK boasts about being open for business, its reputation as a world leader in shipping is being put at risk by the current visa regime.

The Chamber's recent success in lobbying for shipping in both the UK and EU were also mentioned in his speech, as well as its 10% increase in membership and 400% increase in mainstream media coverage.

Boardley touched on the Chamber's desire for a restructuring of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, "A more responsive, proactive, accessible and business-friendly MCA will make us more competitive as a country. It is as simple as that," he stated.

At yesterday's AGM, Shell's vp, Shipping & Maritime, Grahaeme Hendersen was elected vice president of the Chamber.

Boardley thanked his predecessor, Marcus Bowman, for his leadership in the previous 12 months.