Secretariat for the Maritime Skills Alliance

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Secretariat for the Maritime Skills Alliance

  • Post Date:15th November 2021
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Job Description

maritime skills alliance

The Maritime Skills Alliance was established in 2004 to provide a focal point for the development of maritime skills, qualifications and standards and its eighteen members cover most of the “wet” side of the maritime sector. The Alliance has built a reputation which has seen it involved much more broadly in maritime skills matters across the UK, and the role includes being Secretary to the Maritime UK People and Skills Group, chaired by the Chair of MSA.

Since its inception the MSA has been served by a part-time Secretariat, currently provided by the Manager Iain Mackinnon. Iain is retiring from the role on 31st March 2022 and the MSA Management Board is seeking a successor.

You will find more information about the MSA on the website:

If you would like an informal discussion, please contact Iain Mackinnon on

To apply for this role please e-mail Bill Walworth Chair of the MSA on with your CV and a covering letter. The closing date for applications is 3 December 2021. Interviews will take place in 6 January 2022. Use to contact Bill if you would like to discuss the role before applying.

Role: MSA Manager

Reporting to: MSA Management Board through its regular meetings and the Chair as required on a regular basis.

Principal duties:

  • Providing secretariat services to the MSA Management Board and Maritime Qualifications Board (which meet quarterly on the same day). Meetings are normally in central London. This entails preparing agendas, drafting papers, organising venues and catering, drafting meeting notes and following-up agreed action.
  • Providing secretariat services to the Maritime UK’s People and Skills Forum as a central part of the MSA’s Memorandum of Understanding with Maritime UK. In conjunction with the Forum’s Chair (the Chairman of the MSA) the Secretary drafts the agenda, arranges meetings (currently quarterly), prepares a meeting note and (in conjunction with Maritime UK) publishes it.
  • Providing secretariat services on similar lines to ad hoc working groups, in particular apprenticeship Trailblazer groups.
  • Responding to enquiries from members and their contacts, and supporting them through their own meetings, currently including the Merchant Navy Training Board as an Observer, and the Fishermen’s Training Project Group as a member (both meet three times a year).
  • Horizon-scanning to identify developments relevant to members’ interests, providing briefings on opportunities and threats, and making beneficial connections.
  • Identifying opportunities to enhance the range or quality of maritime apprenticeships, qualifications, or other standards.
  • Maintaining relationships with Government and Government agencies, particularly the Department for Transport, Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, and Skills Development Scotland. The Secretary has represented the MSA and wider maritime interests at the Department for Transport’s Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce which will shortly become the Transport Employment and Skills Taskforce (perhaps four meetings a year).
  • Managing relationships with Awarding Organisations, particularly the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
  • Promoting the MSA externally, in writing and as a speaker.
  • Providing information on Maritime Studies Qualifications, maritime apprenticeships, National Occupational Standards, and related matters through the MSA website, our monthly e-newsletter, and social media.
  • Proposing an annual budget to the Management Board, monitoring income and expenditure, managing the MSA’s bank accounts (current and deposit), and arranging and overseeing the preparation of the MSA’s statutory accounts. (The MSA is a company limited by guarantee).
  • Identifying potential funding opportunities and submitting proposals.

Maritime Skills Commission

  • The current post holder is a Commissioner with the Maritime Skills Commission (MSC) . The successful candidate will take this place subject to agreement with the Chair of the MSC

Fee payable and conditions of contract:

  • The post holder’s contractual arrangements will be determined by current HMRC regulations, it is anticipated that they will be an employee of the MSA. They will provide their own place of work. Pension, home office expenses and other benefits associated with the role will be contained in the overall remuneration package.
  • The Board expects the Secretary to work one hundred hours a month on MSA business, averaged over the year.
  • The agreed annual remuneration package will be paid monthly in arrears, and it is deemed to include any office expenses and overheads. The Board sets an annual expenses budget for the Secretary and approved claims with supporting evidence are paid monthly in arrears. Car travel where needed will reimburse at 45p per mile.
  • Remuneration for work which is clearly over and above the norm for the role, including for externally funded projects, will be considered by the Chair and Directors.

Person Specification:


  • Experience of initiating, developing and managing projects
  • Ability to formulate a budget, monitor and control expenditure
  • Sound working knowledge of qualification and apprenticeship structures and arrangements across the UK
  • Well-developed oral and written communication skills
  • Good presentation skills
  • Ability to interact effectively with a wide range of people
  • Graduate or equivalent professional qualification


  • Familiarity with the maritime sector
  • Web site and social media development and management
  • Knowledge of not-for-profit company administration


  • Over five years relevant experience at a management level in an Industry Organisation, Sector Body, or relevant Government Agency

Notice period: the contract is open-ended, with three months’ notice on each side.

Total remuneration package: Salary as employee £37000 per annum