Key Strategic Alliances

Maritime Skills Alliance

The Maritime Skills Alliance (MSA) was formally established in January 2004, and brings together the fish catching, ports, and shipping industries in a strategic alliance to focus on the skills needs of the maritime sector.

The founder members of the MSA were PSS, the Merchant Navy Training Board and the catching sector of the Sea Fish Industry Authority.

Since its inception the MSA has expanded to include the British Marine Federation, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and the Royal Navy. The scope of the MSA has therefore been extended to cater for all industries in the sector, and also now includes other commercial water-borne activities relating to rivers and non-tidal waters, and search-and-rescue.

The UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), previously the Sector Skills Development Agency, recognises the MSA as the sector body for maritime skills catering for the unique maritime footprint which was not previously covered by any existing or proposed Sector Skills Council.

The MSA has a separate website:

Ports and Shipping Partnership for Skills and Safety

The Ports and Shipping Partnership for Skills and Safety (PSP) brings together Government, trade unions and employers with a shared objective and commitment to attain and maintain high standards of health and safety and highly skilled and productive work force in the UK ports and shipping sector. The PSP is interested in developing and agreeing industry policies and strategies on skills and safety, and on influencing project work with a common Ports and Shipping element.

The stakeholders represented on the PSP are:


  • Department for Transport
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Trade Unions

  • National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT)
  • Nautilus UK
  • Unite T&G


  • British Ports Association
  • Chamber of Shipping
  • United Kingdom Major Ports Group


  • a representative from the International Association of Maritime Institutions

Ports Partnership Project Steering Group

The Ports Partnership Project Steering Group (PPPSG) has been established to provide technical direction and advice on Partnership projects being undertaken by PSS. The constitution of the PPPSG is based on a membership representing the ports sector’s partner organisations in government, trade unions and employers.