NWA membership doubles in seven years

NWA Secretary Mark Ranson NWA Secretary Mark Ranson

The UK’s National Workboat Association, the trade, skills and safety standards association for the workboat industry, has announced that its membership has doubled since 2011.

This milestone was achieved with the introduction of the Association’s 80th and 81st members: rib operator Commercial Rib Charter and marine services provider Svensk Sjoentreprenad AB.

The boom in offshore wind and increasing demand for wider maritime service industries in UK and European waters has provided a catalyst for this growth, leading to an increase in the number of vessels registered as workboats under the Workboat Code, and a corresponding growth in NWA membership.

And as the membership has grown, so too has the number of vessels registered with the Association, which has seen an increase from 260 to 565 over the last seven years. Included within this number are not only those vessels introduced by new members, but also new vessels acquired by existing members, reflecting the wider success enjoyed by the workboat sector over the past decade.

These vessels comprise a diverse range, including tugs, shoalbusters, multicats, pilot vessels, survey vessels and Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs), working on projects ranging from port services to long-distance towage contracts, and offshore wind logistical support charters.

Since its foundation in 1994 by respected industry leader Norman Finlay, recently awarded an MBE for Services to UK Shipping, the NWA has provided support and help to a growing membership base, while leading the industry through the establishment of new legislation and ‘best practice’ guidelines.

The original UK Workboat Code, applicable to vessels under 200 tonnes and later used as the basis for numerous international codes, was a major achievement of the Association in its first years. The NWA has also played a pivotal role in strengthening the relationship, and enabling communication, between the regulator, the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA), and the companies working under its remit.

More recently, under the guidance of Secretary Mark Ranson and longstanding Chairman Mark Meade, the Association has consolidated and continued this progress. Major achievements of the last decade include the publication of the updated Workboat Code and the creation of sector-specific qualifications for Masters and Engineers.

The NWA is also active in promoting recruitment, having launched the first Workboat Apprenticeships in both England and Scotland.

By Jake Frith

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