Careers and training in the Merchant Navy
It is estimated that the shipping industry supports over 268,000 UK jobs, including direct shipping-related employment and the jobs associated with the shipped import of goods.
To become a seafarer in the UK you need to undergo specialist training to achieve professional seafaring certification and educational qualifications. This takes place at sea, on board shipping companies’ vessels, and in specialist colleges and universities throughout the UK. Unusually for the current climate, all programmes are sponsored, with course fees paid, living costs and other allowances provided.
Funding support for Merchant Navy Officer cadet training was provided under the Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) scheme, which was reviewed in 2011, under threat of being reduced or even removed completely. In January 2012, following evidence submitted by the UK Chamber, the Merchant Navy Training Board and other industry organisations, the government announced that the SMarT funding scheme would be retained for the duration of this parliament.