Bursaries to Shipping Companies to Develop and Provide Rating Apprenticeship Programmes


The Maritime Educational Foundation (MEF) has been established to promote excellence in education and training in maritime skills.

The MEF strategy is threefold, to promote UK rating training; to support UK officer trainees; and to encourage maritime activities that encourage consideration of a career in British shipping.

In addressing the first part of the strategy, the MEF is offering support and guidance as well a £4000 bursary per apprentice to shipping companies taking on eligible rating apprentices. Simply complete the application form on our website at www.meftraining.org

RMT National Secretary and MEF Trustee Steve Todd said “We are trying to make it more straight forward and simpler for companies and employers to take on young UK rating apprentices.

“The bureaucracy and administration surrounding the funding mechanism for apprentices can often be complicated and overwhelming. It is not surprising that busy ship operators can be deterred from taking on UK rating apprentices.

“However, the MEF believes that our young people should be encouraged to seek a career in the Merchant Navy, and that the shipping companies of the UK should be encouraged and supported in taking on rating apprentices,” he said.


mef apprentice

Chris Burton joined CalMac in 2013 as an apprentice engine room rating. He was recruited by CalMac in a joint initiative with the RMT Learning Project.
Chris said: “When I went to the interview I thought it had gone well. I was told shortly afterwards that I had been chosen as one of the ten from over 1,200 people who had applied!

When I complete my training my job will involve keeping watch in the engine room, general cleaning and maintenance of the ship and assisting the engineers. I will also achieve the Engine Watch Rating and Able Seafarer (Engine) SCTW Certificate.”

“At present I’m on-board MV Lord of the Isles, which operates out of Oban to the Western Isles. I get loads of support from all my colleagues in my training, they help me with my Task Record Book, teach me new skills, give me projects and steer me in the right direction if I need help.”

“Working at sea was and is a dream job for me, I guess what appealed to me most about a maritime apprenticeship was the job based training and good conditions in CalMac. My family are proud of me, happy and amazed at the opportunity I have.”

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