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Trailblazer Apprenticeship: Standard Accepted

Acceptance has been secured for our workboat crewmember apprenticeship in the new ‘Trailblazer’ format. This format attracts a higher level of government funding and will enable you to receive additional funding to train new crews for our industry in the future.

Our hard-working Training and Trailblazer group are working to design and secure approval for the final End Point Assessment process for this apprenticeship, which also needs to be approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships, before the first course can be enrolled.

However, all being well, we should see the first of these courses take place in Q2 2018. 


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.


Workboat Apprenticeship Flourishes

As the first set of Workboat Apprentices near the completion of their course, 54 North Maritime based in Whitby are now hosting the next intake of 9 apprentices from several different NWA member companies, with the prospect of another course starting in January 2016.  Although January is some way away members considering taking on apprentices are advised to start the selection and interviewing process in good time and liaise with 54 North Maritime who will be pleased to assist.

Apprentices undertaking the NWA 'Workboat' Apprenticeship developed through the Maritime Skills Alliance (MSA), will study for a level 2 'Diploma in Maritime Studies: Workboats'. – This will allow employers to take on new starters as apprentices, gain funding towards their training whilst at the same time developing these new crew members' skills.  The apprentices will have to complete various courses, gaining MSQs and completing the Workboat Training Record Book* On completion of their apprenticeship, these trainees will have gained good practical experience and many of the elements needed for the < 200gt Master (Code Vessel) qualification.  Further information can be obtained from Training Providers, the MSA website or by contacting the Secretary.

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.

Details of Refresher Training for STCW Basic Courses issued by MCA

The MCA has published MIN 469 giving details of those STCW Basic Safety courses which require refreshing under the 2010 Manila amendments to the STCW convention. These include Personal Survival Techniques, Proficiency in Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting and Advanced fire Fighting.

The tables in the 'M' notice give the details for each course including where they relate to CoCs and other qualifications. Click on this link to MIN 469 to see the full details.

Please note the deadline for individuals to comply with these Refresher requirements is 1st January 2017 and there is expected to be a high demand for place on courses leading up to this date.

Training Record Books

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


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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.

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This TRB forms annex 4 of MGN 468 and must be completed by any candidate seeking to gain a Voluntary Towage Endorsement

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Any candidate for the Master <500gt (Workboat) Certificate of Competency will have to complete this TRB

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After several years of consultation between the interested stakeholders the MCA published this Voluntary Towage Endorsement Scheme (as MGN 468).

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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.

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It was great to see so many of you at Seawork and to catch up – both around the event and at the NWA Seawork dinner. Please find below a quick round-up of highlights from the event.

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Following comments from the industry about the lack of clarity on the application of MGN 490 (M) & 491(M) on the MLC substantial equivalence for crew accommodation below the waterline on workboats up to 500GT, the MCA has reviewed the two notices and rearranged the material in three notices as follows:

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