Serving the seafarer: Glenys Jackson OBE

As Seafarers’ Awareness Week commences, we sat down with Glenys Jackson, who is being honoured for her work in making UK seafarers some of the world’s best trained

Glenys Shanghai address

Glenys Jackson, director of the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB), was named last week in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and is to receive an OBE for her services to recruitment and training seafarers. We asked Glenys how the recognition came about.

What is your background and how did you come to join the MNTB?
I’m an ex-primary school teacher. I moved into educational consultancy, working with a whole range of industries to develop training programmes, occupational standards and related vocational qualifications at national level. I thought it would be good to concentrate on one industry and a new development manager role came up with the MNTB. I’ve been here for 17 years now.

Of which achievements are you most proud and why?
Developing the whole Careers at Sea brand and range of promotional activities and campaigns, including the hugely successful Ambassador programme and the STV Merchant Navy TV series.  I’m also pleased that the current apprenticeship developments are nearing completion and that we will have a full suite of rating apprenticeships covering deck, engine room, catering and onboard services rating roles . I have also been busy rewriting our MNTB short course criteria; updating cadet training programme requirements and developing our course recognition services’ kitemark of good practice in training provision, as well as supporting the Maritime Educational Foundation to deliver its seafarer and industry support funding.  They have all made a real difference to UK seafarer education and training.

Why is the MNTB of national importance to the UK?
The MNTB brings together all aspects of seafarer education and training to ensure a comprehensive, cohesive and quality system across the UK, which produces highly respected and expert UK seafarers.

What do you think is the next big challenge affecting UK seafaring? How can this be overcome?
One major challenge is to make a significant increase to the number of UK officer cadets and ratings apprentices. We need to take advantage of Brexit opportunities that may become apparent in this regard and securing and accessing increased funding to support training costs will help.
The other great challenge affecting UK seafaring will be developing training requirements to best equip seafarers with the skills and knowledge to operate and utilise technology, big data, smart and autonomous systems.

Do you have any funny/quirky/treasured anecdotes of your time in the role that you’d like to share? 
Our Careers At Sea badges caused some consternation amongst seafarers as they are somewhat tongue in cheek – to help appeal to young people but not hugely appreciated by some of those in the industry – for example, “You talk a load of ship”, “Ship for brains”, “Ship-faced”, “Up ship creek”!  
Another highlight was the MNTB winning the Lloyd’s List Investors in People award for the Merchant Navy Foundation Degree.

Glenys' greatest hits

Course recognition

The Philippine Center for Advanced Maritime Simulation and Training (PHILCAMSAT) achieves MNTB course recognition for its ‘Human element in leadership training’, 2016

MEF launch cropped

The Maritime Educational Foundation's launch event, June 2016.

Glenys in Shanghai

Visiting Shanghai with the Maritime UK Trade Mission, March 2017.

Glenys Shanghai address

Addressing trade delegates in Shanghai.

For more information contact:

Holly Birkett

Communications Manager (content & digital)

020 7417 2868 / 07807 790058