§ Miss McIntosh
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to encourage recruitment of(a) British officers and (b) cadets in the Merchant Navy. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
In December 1998 this Government's introduction of a tonnage based corporation tax for UK tax resident shipping companies requires applicant companies to satisfy a minimum training obligation and recruit and train one British Cadet for every 15 officers. We estimate the number of cadets undergoing training for the year, as of October 2002, to be in the order of 650. The total cumulative training commitment for the training year beginning October 2002 is 660. This is an encouraging and significant increase on previous years.
Under the Support for Maritime Training Scheme the Government has made available 9.4million for merchant navy training for this financial year.
The Government appreciates that the consequence of the tonnage tax has been an increased demand for cadets. We are therefore heartened and supportive of the industry led initiative to raise the profile of the maritime industry in the eyes of the general public. This major campaign, co-ordinated by the Chamber of Shipping, has the active support of over 70 maritime organisations including the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and goes under the title of "Sea Vision UK". The campaign is gaining momentum and hopes to attract public attention at the London Boat Show in January 2003 and other events through the year.266W