Workboat crewmember apprenticeship

Serve on the crew of a wide variety of specialist vessels

During the workboat crewmember apprenticeship, also known as the small commercial vessel crewmember apprenticeship, you’ll work on a variety of specialist vessels, ranging from tugs and multi-purpose workboats to fast pilot boats and crew transfer vessels. The main goal of this job is to carry out specific tasks that cannot be done on land, such as the construction of offshore wind farms or major salvage operations and wreck removal. Small commercial vessels are typically less than 24 metres in length, with accommodation for up to five people. Usually, crew members will work in small teams of two or three, led by the Master who is in charge.

As a workboat crewmember apprentice, you’ll develop the knowledge, skills and competence to carry out all core tasks on board with minimal supervision. During the workboat crewmember apprenticeship, you’ll learn skills in various tasks like communication, navigation, handling the vessel, towing operations, and handling cargo. You might be at sea for short or long periods, so it’s important that you can be flexible with your schedule. Safety is crucial in this line of work, as you’ll be responsible for everyone’s well-being on board and the protection of the marine environment.


Duration: 24 months

Relevant school subjects: PE, geography

Entry requirements for the workboat crewmember apprenticeship: Pass the MCA’s strict ENG1 medical requirements

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

Potential salary upon completion: £21,000 per annum

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