Officer of the watch (near coastal) apprenticeship

Take charge of a vessel’s safety, security and navigation during operations both at sea and when in harbour

Working with a range of specialist vessels, from commercial to military, such as Royal Navy landing craft, tugs, fishing boats and workboats, typically used to transport cargo, passengers or crew. You’ll work close to the shore and take charge of a vessel’s safety, security and navigation during operations, both at sea and when in harbour. During the officer of the watch apprenticeship your work will directly impact the safety of all those onboard and also the protection of the marine environment. Don’t expect a typical work pattern, you may need to work several weeks at a time on board a vessel, working at any time of day or night and in all weathers. However, long operations at sea are usually followed by a similar length of leave. Main responsibilities will be to manage to the vessel’s passage, including keeping an accurate record of events on the vessel, directing and monitoring crew, coaching inexperienced crew and performing a full handover after each watch.


Duration: 36 months

Relevant school subjects: Geography, science

Entry requirements for the officer of the watch apprenticeship: Every civil apprentice without exception will need to  pass the MCA’s strict ENG1medical requirements. MoD Apprentices will without exception need to pass the respective MoD recruitment entry medical assessment.

Achievement upon completion: Level 3 (Advanced)—equivalent to A-levels

Potential salary upon completion: £22,000 per annum

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