Feb 24

National Apprenticeship Week - Svitzer Case Study

The UK Chamber of Shipping is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week with some inspirational apprenticeship stories.

Svitzer, a member of the British Tugowners Association, shared with us their case study on two of their apprentices working at the Port of Liverpool and the Port of Tyne. 

Click below to read Mia and Jack's stories.

Mia's Story


Becoming an apprentice on a tugboat has been the most fulfilling progression in my maritime career, with the shift signalling a more engaging and professional dynamic journey, particularly with Svitzer.

After completing my A-levels, I decided to enter the workforce while also doing a Law degree. I gained experience in various maritime-based roles, using my skills entirely. The diversity of tasks made the job enjoyable, but my desire for greater career progression led me to seek new, challenging responsibilities whilst staying in the industry I am passionate about.

Joining the world of towage as the only female in my cohort of apprentices has been a pivotal moment in my career. While navigating the steep learning curve, I have immersed myself in tugboat operations, learning manoeuvrability and the complexities of assisting various vessels regardless of weather conditions. Alongside the experienced crew, I have gained invaluable knowledge whilst being encouraged and supported to become a capable and confident crew member.

Every day on the tugs brings new lessons and challenges. I'm still learning the ropes, but meeting inspiring people in the towage industry enriches this journey. 

One day, I might find myself making fast to a tanker, while we skillfully berth it. The next day, I could be geared up in full breathing apparatus and fire kit, engaging in rigorous drills ensuring preparedness for any maritime emergency. I am keen to expand my knowledge, continue progressing in this rewarding career and work towards getting my Officer of the Watch ticket with the aspiration to one day achieve the rank of a Master.

Jack's Story


Being an apprentice with Svitzer offers fantastic opportunities and has excellent benefits.

Once completing school, I knew I wanted to work in the maritime industry. After covid 19, I was part of a cadetship engineering program. However, due to not being able to go on ships, this unfortunately ended. This was disheartening for me until I found Svitzer and their Officer of the Watch Cadetship.

Joining Svitzer has been one of the best decisions I have made. 

As someone who has sailed at sea before, I see Svitzer to be one of the best employees around. They offer a competitive salary working one week on one week off. They operate all over the world and in all major ports around the UK.

I think that the towage sector isn't a sector commonly spoken about or very well known about. However, the skills we need to perform our tasks with such efficiency and precision are high. This course is two and a half years long, and last year, I learned extremely useful skills while onboard and at college. It will stick with me as I move forward in my hopefully long career at Svitzer.

I would highly recommend anyone who is thinking about joining the maritime industry to take the step as it is not one you will regret thanks to the extremely good salary, the memories you will make, the skills you will learn and the places which you may be lucky enough to visit. 

Learn more about Careers at Sea or find out more about Apprenticeship opportunities