Able Seafarer (Deck) Rating Apprenticeship

Circular No: NP/188/15


Our ref: S1/1/S3/8/14

8th October 2015

Dear Colleagues

Able Seafarer (Deck) Rating Apprenticeship

Further to circular no. NP/103/14 of 10th June 2014, the Government has accepted the standard and assessment plan for a new Able Seafarer (Deck) Rating Apprenticeship.

This new apprenticeship was agreed through the Maritime Trailblazer Working Group on which the RMT sit, along with Nautilus, the maritime colleges, the MNTB and employers (DFDS, P&O, RFA, James Fisher, Carnival and Princess Cruises).

Copies of the standard and assessment plan are attached, along with the MCA’s Merchant Shipping Notice 1862 which sets out the legal training requirements for deck ratings. Members should also note that the Government has capped public funding for each Able Seafarer (Deck) Rating Apprentice at £6,000 which would cover around a quarter of the total training costs.

This apprenticeship provides certainty and clarity, as well as significant public funding to shipping companies to train the next generation of Deck Ratings. The number of UK Deck Ratings declined by 6 per cent between 2013 and 2014 to 3,020, so it is imperative that UK shipping companies, particularly in the domestic ferry sector take up this new apprenticeship. More details can be found here:

Despite the Government’s predictable ignorance of the role trade unions and maritime colleges played in developing and agreeing the Deck rating apprenticeship, RMT will continue to contribute to the development of standards and assessment plans for apprentice ratings in engine, catering and on-board services.

The new Ratings Apprenticeships designed by the Trailblazer Working Group, agreed and funded by Government, will replace the previous maritime apprenticeships launched by the Merchant Navy Training Board in June 2011. The MNTB apprenticeships will not be available from 2017-18.

I would be grateful if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of members in your Branch and you will be kept informed of further developments.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary