Training for the Workboat Industry

Significant Funding for the Workboat Crewmember Apprenticeship

We are delighted to report that the final piece of the Apprenticeship ‘jigsaw’ is now in place – with the Workboat Crewmember Standard and end-point assessment already published, the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) has now recommended a funding band of £20,000 per Apprentice.

This is significantly more than the original offer of £5,000 and is a much fairer reflection of the cost of this revised 18-24 month Level 3 Workboat Apprenticeship.

The Trailblazer group has written to the IfA to accept this funding band, and we expect it to be confirmed by the Education Minister in the near future. 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.

This is the most significant funding that has ever been available for training Workboat crewmembers, and these apprentices should provide the basis for the next generation of Workboat crew. By the end of the apprenticeship they will have gained the following practical qualifications:

  • All STCW Basic Safety Courses,
  • STCW Designated Safety Duties
  • NavigationalWatch Rating
  • Efficient Deck Hand (EDH)
  • AEC 1 & 2
  • Hydraulic Crane Operator
  • Slinger and Signaller

54 North Maritime have already published an outline timetable for a first intake to start on 28th August at Whitby and we expect Red Ensign Training on the Isle of Wight to also offer a September intake. Anyone interested in taking advantage of this significant training incentive should contact the Training Providers direct.

Scottish Modern Workboat Apprenticeship – Available Q2 2018

Following the Scottish version of the Workboat Apprenticeship’s approval, Stream Marine Training Ltd (SMT) are preparing to offer the Modern Workboat Apprenticeship for Scottish-based operators, starting in Q2 2018.

Operators are reminded that there is significant funding on offer from the Scottish Government towards the costs of training apprentices, and, in many areas, local funding is also available.

The college aspects of the apprenticeship will be based at the new SMT facility close to the Glasgow City Airport terminal. Any companies who may be interested in taking on new crew members, or up-skilling existing crew through this apprenticeship route are encouraged to contact the college for more details.

New Short Courses for Workboat Masters and Watchkeepers

​Also through the MSA we have developed two short courses as Maritime Skills units,specifically aimed at Workboat Masters and watchkeepers, which will meet the requirements of the revised Workboat Code;-

1/ Operate non-ECDIS Marine Electronic Chart Systems – a 3 day course to familiarise operators to effectively use the Electronic Chart system installed on their vessel, and

2/ Use of Radar for Safe Navigation and Collision Avoidance on Domestic and Code Vessels – again a 3 Day course to ensure users are competent and confident in the effective use of their Radar on board.

These courses are already being offered by MARITAS and other training providers are expected to follow suit. MARITAS are also able to offer these two courses as a combined 5 day course.

Training Record Books

We have three Training Record Books (TRBs) available for the different needs of workboat Crewmembers:


This is a valuable document for anyone working in the workboat industry to complete as it gives a thorough record of their experience and skills gained. These Deck TRBs can only be obtained from the Secretary, NWA for a cost of £10 each to NWA members, £25 to Non-members. Applicants will need to send 2 x countersigned passport photographs together with their name, date of birth and passport or discharge book number together with payment, as these Deck Record books are only issued to named individuals to prevent fraud.