Seaking Electrical

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Seaking Electrical's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Seaking Electrical is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Queen Elizabeth,
pictured here at Portsmouth
Seaking Electrical Ltd was incorporated on April 21, 2001,
to provide maintenance and project work for the marine
and industrial sectors. Directors David Gillam, Eric King,
Martin Sealeaf and Chris Dahill formed the company to provide
opportunities in support of commercial shipping, ferries,
the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, the Royal Navy, cruise ships and
superyachts. Primarily an electrical contractor, Seaking employs
71 people and is consistently able to supply a flexible and
responsive service for its clients. Martin expands on the state of
the marine sector and discusses the issues it faces going forward.
Our main client is Cammell Laird, a famous shipbuilding, refurbishment and
conversion company based in Birkenhead. We support their operations with electrical
design and installation, control panel manufacture and general refurbishment work.
As the prime electrical contractor for Cammell Laird, we have grown alongside them
and consequently have had to develop complex internal infrastructure and processes to
support them appropriately. The success of this relationship has ensured similar security,
growth and stability for us – we’ve had to create more office space, for example,
as we’ve taken on more staff to accommodate such a significant amount of work.
This has ultimately equipped us to work at a higher standard across other projects.
Supporting major maritime projects
As part of our contracts with Cammell Laird, we have worked on the flight decks of
sections of both
Queen Elizabeth
-class aircraft carriers. In September 2017, we also
»Directors: David Gillam,
EricKing, Martin Sealeaf,
»Incorporated in 2001
»Based in Birkenhead
»Services: Marine and industrial
electrical design, installations
and refurbishments alongside
the manufacture and
installation of control panels
»No. of employees: 71
»Certified to ISO 9001 and ISO
Seaking Electrical
Highlighting best practice
began work on installing a completely
new bridge on the RFA
Fort Victoria,
which we completed in October
We also have a broad client base which
requires us to travel to other shipyards,
both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe,
covering other market segments of
the marine sector – in 2018 alone, we
completed projects on 26 superyachts.
To ensure we provide only the
highest quality of works across these
projects, we have adopted a culture
of continuous development and set in
place stringent internal management
systems. By improving project
management skills, we have been able
to focus on de-risking projects.
As a result of this dedication to internal
consistency, we transitioned our ISO
certifications to the 2015 standards for
14001 and 9001 last year.
Low oil prices and regulations
in the commercial shipping
Over the last five or six years, low oil
prices have affected all shipping areas
– be it commercial or leisure. Charter
rates are lower than usual, and ships
are being taken off routes before
being stored or scrapped.
Across the board, belts are tightening
– owners and ship management
companies are feeling the pressure
because of environmental targets and
International Marine Organization
regulations. We want to be as
sustainable as we possibly can – it’s
a big part of what we do. That said,
however, new IMO regulations
mean that owners and companies
will have to install new systems to
Some companies are already abreast
of such developments, having bought
into sustainability initiatives suitably
early. We have installed such systems
on several commercial ships and have
technical agreements in place with
a manufacturer to take advantage
of this change in the market. While
we understand that such a dramatic
regulatory change does make things
difficult in some capacity, we believe
that embracing such a change as early
as possible will be beneficial for both
our operations and our clients.
A new strategy – diversifying
into the superyacht sector
In recent years, we have refined our
online presence to attract new clients
in line with our growth alongside
Cammell Laird. We have developed
a new website to better reflect our
services and composed a dedicated
digital marketing strategy involving the
use of targeted news stories.
Over the last six or seven years, we
have looked more towards working on
superyacht contracts and have slowly
developed a rewarding presence in
While RFA and commercial shipping
remain the bulk of what we do, this
diversification is incredibly beneficial
for Seaking. As such, our contracts in
this market segment take us all across
the globe.
Fort Victoria
We have
adopted a
culture of
and set in
place stringent
A growing shortage of young,
skilled staff
Some 14 years ago at Seaking, we
identified a growing concern with our
workforce. Although experienced, staff
were ageing, and we recognised that
we would somehow have to retain
their considerable base of knowledge
before many of them retired. In effect,
we ask our apprentices to shadow the
experienced engineers, thus learning
on the job by observation and gaining
installation experience.
We employ at least four new
apprentices every year. To date, we’ve
taken 44 through the process from
start to finish – now they are fully
qualified for electrical work in the
maritime sector. We also have been
able to tap into the resettlement of
skilled military personnel and attract
a number of experienced naval
A changing European
With the leaving date set for March
29, 2019, Brexit is on the horizon.
The uncertainty surrounding the
consequences of such a deal could
potentially be of critical importance
for our business – considering the
international nature of commercial
shipping, we could encounter
difficulties. If passport control becomes
more rigorous or we have to apply
for visas, processes which usually take
moments could be delayed.
Additionally, while we don’t export
to Europe, Seaking staff do work
within the EU on vessels. Foreign
tax laws may prove to be another
difficulty – as will travel prices if they
rise as a consequence. Finally, one of
our equipment suppliers, Schneider,
is based in France – if their prices rise
after we leave, that will affect our cost
base and productivity.
As an agile and forward-thinking
company, we are dedicated to
innovating to survive going forwards,
and while we are confident that we’ll
be fine, uncertainty is never good in any
business situation – further guidance
from government would be more than
welcome at this difficultjuncture.
Staying afloat – the future
looks prosperous
Cammell Laird’s future over the next
ten years has been secured by way
of their winning through life support
contracts for nine RFA vessels and
four Tide-class tankers, plus five naval
frigates as a part of the Type 45 Power
Improvement Project.
We look forward to supporting them
over the next decade and beyond but
also want to focus on diversification
into other market segments. A good
third of our business already comes
from other contracts and different
areas of the market – and considering
that we’re one of the few English
electrical companies in the marine
sector that have the flexibility,
resources and technical ability to
consistently impress across the board,
we’re confident this trend will continue
for a long time to come.
We’re one of
the few English
companies in
the marine
sector that have
the flexibility,
resources and
technical ability
to consistently
impress across
the board
We employ at least
four apprentices every
year, and they shadow
senior engineers to gain
practical experience

This article was sponsored by Seaking Electrical. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy