How to apply
The main roles on board are Ships Officers and Ratings. You can find out more about these roles here. Once you have chosen the right path for you, it'll be time to apply. Depending on the route you choose, you'll need to follow the relevant process.
Taking the Officer route
One of the best things about embarking on a career at sea as an Officer is the support you get. A maritime sponsoring company will cover your Merchant Navy training course fees and even your living costs. There are three types to look out for: a shipping or ship management company, a training management company or a charitable organisation.
So which one is right for you?
A shipping or ship management company:
Know where you want your career to go? Think about training with the fleet you aim to work with. You’ll feel like you belong right from the start, enhance your skills with specialised training and climb the company ladder – either at sea or ashore in shipping management. Plus you could get corporate benefits from day one.
A training management company:
Working right across the shipping industry, these organisations have a broad client base. So you can explore different ships and trades. You might get to choose, or they might match you with a suitable shipping company.
A charitable organisation:
Looking to make your mark? A charity could be your gateway to an assortment of maritime jobs – with different ships, trades and companies. And after initial training, you may be able to continue your further education.
Now you know what’s what, find out who’s who. Learn who could sponsor your Merchant Navy training here.
Applying to a sponsor
Once you’ve settled on a role, type of ship and potential maritime sponsoring companies, find out what they need from you. Each is different, but broadly speaking all take applications online or in writing.
And don’t wait for your exam results. You can often apply a year before courses begin. Usually, that’s September and January – but sometimes March/April too. If a sponsor thinks you could be a good fit, they’ll invite you for interview. And your journey to becoming a seafarer begins.
See yourself as a Rating?
Navigation (Deck) and Engine Room Rating apprenticeships can come up throughout the year. Check out:
Openings depend on the needs of different companies, month by month. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye on a range of sectors, which could include: cruise and passenger shipping, the offshore industries (covering safety and supply vessels), large commercial yachting (including superyachts) and wind farm shipping.
Image courtesy of Fleetwood Nautical Campus