The development of the Apprenticeship comes in response to a growing skills and crewing challenge highlighted by NWA members and the wider maritime sector, as experienced seafarers leave the industry, often for retirement, and numbers of young people entering the industry have fallen. It aims to ensure that young U.K. seafarers benefit from the opportunities being created in the workboat sector for offshore wind crew transfer, tug, multicat, survey and fast pilot vessel crew.
The Workboat Crewmember Standard and end-point assessment have already been published, and this month, the final piece of the plan fell into place when the Minister for Education confirmed an Institute for Apprenticeships recommended funding of £20,000 ($25,800) per apprentice aged 24 and younger. This is the most significant funding that has ever been available for training workboat crewmembers.
The 18-24 month apprenticeship, which includes all SCTW Basic Safety Courses and the Navigational Watch Rating, among other qualifications, will be combined with extensive time on board.
With the details now in place, training providers including 54 North Maritime and Red Ensign are drawing up plans to run courses for the apprenticeship, with 54 North Maritime starting their first intake on August 28.