Maritime charities – Bursary Scheme to Support Seafarers

Circular No: NP/278/20


Our ref: S7/3/5

9th November 2020

Dear Colleagues

Maritime charities – Bursary Scheme to Support Seafarers

Further to Circular no. 140/20 of 10th June 2020, I am writing to update you on the RMT’s successful joint initiative with the maritime charities to create a training bursary for seafarers made or at risk of redundancy due to the economic fall out from Covid-19.

Since the start of the pandemic your union has argued for schemes that will protect Ratings’ jobs and skills for the long term, including re-training for jobs in other maritime sectors such as offshore renewables. Approaching two-thousand UK seafarers have lost their job due to Covid-19’s economic impact, with ferries, offshore supply and cruise hit particularly hard.

In response, we have worked with the Maritime Charities Group (MCG), which includes the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) and the Marine Society to set up this scheme. The bursary is worth £500 and there is an initial pot of £20,000. The bursary can be used for refreshing generic skills such as interview preparation or writing a maritime CV, as well as for meeting the cost of obtaining specific MCA-approved qualifications such as STCW refresher courses.

UK Merchant Navy seafarers, particularly Ratings with a plan to re-enter the maritime industry, whether seagoing or shore-side are encouraged to apply for this support. The faster it goes to those that need it, the stronger our argument is for further funding. To apply and obtain more information please go to

MNWB and Trinity House have contributed £10,000 each and the MCG is meeting the Marine Society’s costs from administering the scheme. Your Union continues to work hard to build on this fund and to persuade the Government to contribute to this and other schemes needed to protect UK Ratings’ jobs, livelihoods and skills during and beyond the pandemic.

I would be grateful if you could bring the contents of this circular to the attention of members in your branch and you will be kept updated with all further developments.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary