Overview top

An Able Seafarer (deck) works as a member of the navigation department on board ships and vessels of different types and sizes, carrying out watchkeeping duties; maintaining the safety and security of the vessel, cargo and personnel on board; and undertaking a range of practical seafarer skills covering ropework, anchoring and mooring activities and operations.

They must adhere to safe and environmentally responsible working practices and international regulations, without endangering themselves, others or the marine environment, and will have a range of security duties. An able seafarer must be able to work safely in enclosed spaces and at heights, and must also be able to respond to vessel emergencies; administer emergency first aid; carry out fire prevention and fire-fighting duties; be able to use survival techniques in the water; and be able to operate survival craft and rescue boats.

The qualifications and certification achieved by an able seafarer means he/she will be able to work on board any type and size of ship in any part of the world. Seafarer regulations are set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and are known as the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) and are put into effect in the UK by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

This is a Level 2 apprenticeship

Entry Requirements top

Individual employers will determine their own selection criteria and will need to be confident that potential apprentices have the aptitude and ability to assimilate the learning and develop the required practical skills and competences, and to work in a multicultural environment on board a vessel, which may be away from home for extended periods of time.

In addition, Apprentices will need to be able to pass the medical entry requirements as defined in international regulations (i.e. the ENG14 Seafarer Medical Certificate, including eyesight requirements).

Assessment top

The training for an able seafarer will need to include a period of time being taught basic practical seafarer and watchkeeping skills and related underpinning knowledge and theory, interspersed with application of these skills during onboard practice and to comply with international and national sea time requirements. Coupled with required periods of leave, it is expected that minimum completion time of the apprenticeship will be around 18-24 months (including sea time).

Further Information top

Cost: Costs vary depending on whether the employer pays the Apprenticeship levy or is a non-levy payer

Dates:   From October 2018 other dates available on request

Further Information:      Please contact Simon Ashton at simon.ashton@stc.ac.uk

Dates & Fees

Contact us for current course dates and fees.

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