Image supplied by the RNLI
Apprenticeships are jobs with structured training which give apprentices a first class foundation to their subsequent career. There are apprenticeships in:
The MSA has produced a number of short (two page) Briefings with introductory information about apprenticeships and the Apprenticeship Levy. You'll find them all on our Briefings page.
All maritime apprentices are now invited to apply for Student Membership of IMarEST, the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology. Full details here.
Apprentices are also entitled to get the NUS (National Union of Students) discount card.
As the number of maritime apprenticeships grows we will provide direct links to the companies which offer those opportunities. In the meantime, the links below are to the colleges and training providers who are currently best-placed to provide more information.
The Institute for Apprenticeships is a Government body in England which is leading the work to improve the quality and take-up of apprenticeships. The information they provide on their website about the range of apprenticeships available is unfortunately misleading because it only refers to new-style 'Standards' and omits all mention of existing apprenticeships (known as 'Frameworks'). The MSA therefore aims to provide information about both here, and we will be enhancing the information available so that companies and others can find everything they want in one place - which you cannot currently do through the IfA.
Employers can use any of the existing apprenticeships now; you do not need to wait until the new Trailblazer standards are ready.
Trailblazers: Apprenticeships in England are changing, with a number of 'Trailblazer' working groups reviewing existing apprenticeship standards, and considering new options. They are:
Contact Iain Mackinnon for other sectors or for general questions.
Under the heading “Maritime SuperSkills” Liverpool John Moores University has secured funds from the European Social Fund to work up proposals for Higher and Degree level Apprenticeships for the maritime sector. Resulting apprenticeships will, of course, be national in scope, and there is no obligation to use ‘apprentice’ as a job title.
MSA Secretary Iain Mackinnon chairs the project’s Steering Group.
To date LJMU has put in formal Expressions of Interest to establish apprenticeships for Marine Technical Superintendent and Ship Operations Manager. The project team is also exploring further possibilities, including Surveyor, and Port & Coastal Engineer.
Contact: Di Fitch, Project Manager.
The apprenticeship leads the way to the Boatmaster licence, recognised by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (and at Tier 1 Level 2, the top level, covering tidal rivers and 'limited distances to sea').
The National Maritime Training Centre at North Kent College currently supports apprentices on the lower Thames.
Red Ensign Ltd on the Isle of Wight has also supported this apprenticeship for a windfarm employer.
Sea Regs Ltd, based in Plymouth, has also now been approved to support the apprenticeship.
This apprenticeship is not currently available in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. If you would like it to be, please talk to Iain Mackinnon.
Apprenticeships for deck ratings and engine room ratings are currently supported by:
The Deck rating apprenticeship Standard, which applies in England - and is formally known as "Able Seafarer (Deck)" - is here, along with the approved Assessment Plan. For Engine Room ratings, the Maritime Trailblazer Group is working with the Royal Navy to design a joint Standard which covers the needs of both and you can see the draft here. In the meantime, you'll find details of the currently approved Engine Room Rating apprenticeship here.
Both deck and engine room ratings apprenticeships are also available in Scotland, and you'll find full details here.
The old Framework-style apprenticeship for Deck Ratings is no longer open for new entrants and has been replaced by the new Able Seafarer (Deck) apprenticeship Standard, linked above.
The Maritime Trailblazer Group is currently developing new apprenticeships for ratings working in maritime catering and onboard services. Here is the approved Maritime Caterer apprenticeship Standard; the final step in the process is to get the accompanying Assessment Plan approved.
For other roles in the Merchant Navy, including cadetships (for trainee officers), see the Careers At Sea website.
Companies cannot use their Apprenticeship Levy funds for cadets because cadetships do not count as a 'statutory apprenticeship'.
In England, there is currently no apprenticeship (though work continues to re-instate it). Whitby Fishing School runs a year-long programme very similar to the old apprenticeship, based on the Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Sea Fishing.
You can find more information about other training in the sea fishing sector, including the 3-week Introduction to Commercial Fishing course, here.
54 North Maritime Training Ltd (based in Whitby) currently supports the workboats apprenticeship.
The Workboat apprenticeship has now also been approved for delivery in Scotland and we are working with the National Workboat Association to ensure that an appropriate off-the-job provider is available soon.
The MSA has responded to the Migration Advisory Committee’s “call for evidence” about the potential impact of Brexit on skills.
Acknowledging that much still remains unclear the MSA emphasised three main points:
Click the link for the full text of the MSA's evidence paper.
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