The development of the Apprenticeship is a response to an increasing skills and crewing challenge highlighted by NWA members and the wider maritime sector, as the number of young people entering the industry has fallen.

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It aims to ensure that young UK seafarers benefit from the opportunities in the workboat sector – training as the next generation of offshore wind crew transfer, tug, multicat, survey and fast pilot vessel crew.

The Workboat Crewmember Standard and end-point assessment have already been published, and the Minister for Education confirmed an Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA), with a funding band of £20,000 per Apprentice (aged 24 and younger).

This means that those companies in England and Wales already paying the Apprenticeship Levy can claim £20,000 funding per apprentice, while smaller companies not paying the levy are entitled to 90% of this figure.

The 18-24 month Apprenticeship, which includes all SCTW Basic Safety Courses and the Navigational Watch Rating, among other qualifications, will equip future seafarers with the skills necessary to work as a competent deckhand. The program combines shore-based instruction with extensive time on board.

Mark Ranson, Secretary, NWA, mentioned:

It will contribute to a steady influx of trained personnel to support workboat operations in a range of marine industries throughout the UK and Europe, such as construction of offshore wind farms, servicing of ports and inland waterways, surveying, towage and salvage work.

What is more, training providers 54 North Maritime will start their first intake on 28th August.