Bursaries to Shipping Companies to Develop and Provide Rating Apprenticeship Programmes

The MEF is committed to providing opportunities and support for shipping companies to help them meet their workforce demands by bringing new, young people in to the maritime industry as ratings apprentices.

The MEF are supporting the Ratings Apprenticeship programme through bursaries to employers who take on new entrant UK ratings.

Who can claim funding?

  • Funding is available to shipping companies (employers) who provide places for rating trainees on approved programmes.  Please note, the MEF apprenticeship bursary cannot be claimed in instances where an individual has already been working at sea, in any sector, in any capacity.

What training is supported under this category?

  • Deck Able Seafarer Apprenticeship;
  • Engine Able Seafarer Apprenticeship.

in accordance with our Rating Apprenticeship Partnership Arrangements.

 The above is subject to change depending on the outcome of the Rating Trailblazer Apprenticeship work.

What funding is available?

  • A bursary of £4000 per trainee can be claimed by the employer as follows:
  • £2000 on confirmation of registration at approved college onto the apprenticeship programme;
  • £2000 on evidence of completion of training and achievement of the apprenticeship certificate.

MEF support and guidance is available if required.

An application form for this category of funding can be found here.
For more information on funding for unemployed ratings please contact mef@ukchamberofshipping.com
Skills shortages are one of the biggest threats to the UK maritime industry. Modern ship owners are only too aware of the need to attract, retain, and train high quality crews. The consequences of not doing do so are wide reaching, not only for the safe and efficient operation of vessels but also for the wider maritime sector.

The ‘Ratings Apprenticeship’ is a programme designed to draw fresh talent into the shipping industry. Motivated and loyal crew, trained to company specific requirements, not only reduces skill shortages but can minimise staff turnover and workplace accidents, and can increase productivity within a company.

Apprenticeships can save significant costs. Rating apprentice following the ‘National Apprentice’ programme have been granted reduced sea time by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for both watch rating and able seafarer certification,. The shorter timescales make rating training financially more attractive for shipping companies seeking to invest in their skills base. Furthermore, successful apprentices are awarded a Level 2 Maritime Studies Qualification (MSQ) along with the certification. The MSQ’s form pathways within the Maritime Occupations Apprenticeship Framework which in themselves attract government funding which significantly reduces the course costs, again making this route to ratings training economically appealing.

Studies in other industries have shown that the costs of training apprentices are quickly recouped upon completion of the apprenticeships. Other benefits include retention within the company; understanding of company values; and the possibility of progression to managers/officers. For a more detailed overview of apprentices in the maritime industry please view our MEF Apprenticeship Booklet.

The MEF also provides various other rating development opportunities, see Rating Training for more details.


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