New training fund for seafarers feeling redundant due to COVID-19

The fund was launched by the Maritime Charities Group (MCG), together with MCG members the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) and London-based charity Trinity House, who have joined forces with Marine Society, to address the looming employment crisis and the inevitable impact on health and welfare of merchant seafarers and their families.

Especially the cruise and ferry sectors have been hit significantly by COVID-19, with around 2,000 merchant seafarers already facing redundancy, said Commander Graham Hockley LVO RN and Chair of the MCG.

Jobs are in short supply but the market will pick up so now’s the time to invest in training and skills development…

The bursary is aimed at UK Merchant Navy seafarers of all ranks and departments who can demonstrate a planned route back into a maritime-related role, whether seagoing or shore-side. Applicants can self-select whatever training or qualifications they feel will help them. This can include generic skills such as interview preparation or CV writing tailored to a maritime industry. Courses can include MCA-approved and STCW refresher qualifications, maritime-related professional diplomas or ICS qualifications.

Whether it’s a CV writing course, interview skills or a new training certificate, the maritime charities want to help. We’re making money available for training that will help merchant seafarers who’ve been made redundant due to Covid to stay in the industry. It’s not meant to replace support from employers or to let them off the hook, but it will help plug the gap for those who aren’t getting that support – and it’s available now,

…he said.

See also: Seafarers lose hope for repatriation, latest Seafarers Happiness Index shows

Under the cooperation, MNWB will bring its welfare expertise; Trinity House will promote maritime careers; and the Marine Society will bring experience of running similar funding schemes together with providing information, advice and guidance on maritime education and training.

The fund currently stands at £20k, with equal contributions from MNWB and Trinity House. MCG is funding the administration of the scheme which is being handled by the Marine Society.

Explaining their involvement and how the scheme will work, Darrell Bate, Director of Maritime Training and Development, said:

We want to make the process as simple as possible for anyone applying for this new funding. All they need to do is prove that their job is being made redundant, find a course that fills a gap in their training or skills, and apply online through a dedicated page on the Marine Society website. We can also provide information about what’s out there, so if you need help with ideas just get in touch.

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