Demand for Careers at Sea grows

Would you like the opportunity to travel the world sailing the high seas, whilst getting paid to learn new skills?

Careers at sea are becoming increasingly popular for exactly these reasons with the number of people applying to train to become an officer in the British Merchant Navy at a 10 year high.

Glasgow based Clyde Marine Training, the largest provider of officer training in the UK, reported that they have received over 5,000 applications this year alone (of which 310 were accepted onto training places), an 11% increase on last year and a 27% increase on 10 years ago. Not only has the number increased the quality of applicant has too, with more applicants having achieved 3 or more passes in A-Level, or equivalent standard, this year than ever before.

It’s not all good news though as Training Officer Lesley Ellis who is responsible for engineering Trainees at City of Glasgow College and also Trainees at the National Maritime College of Ireland explains “for Professional Diploma or Foundation Degree Officer Trainees we require applicants to have Higher or A-Level Maths and preferably Physics as well, but we haven’t seen an increase in applicants achieving this. There is a big demand for Trainees in the Merchant Navy – especially engineers – and studying the relevant subjects such as maths opens up so many career doors for people”.

Clyde Marine Training now provides around 50% of all British Merchant Navy cadets and work closely with schools and colleges right across the UK, however the traditional port towns still provide the bulk of the applicants, “we still see more applications coming from towns with a nautical heritage, like Glasgow, Belfast, Southampton and Liverpool as well as areas like Tyneside and the Hebrides, perhaps there are family ties that lead to this, but of course it doesn’t matter where in the UK you are from.”

You could become a:

  • Navigation officer – working as part of the ship’s management team
  • Engineer officer – operating and maintaining all the mechanical and electrical equipment throughout the ship
  • Electro technical officer – responsible for monitoring all electronic and electrical equipment onboard to maximise the operational safety and efficiency of the vessel
So, if you fancy a challenging and rewarding career, check out the websites below for more details and to find out which colleges and universities run suitable programmes for you.