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Level 3 Apprenticeship – Small Commercial Vessel Crewmember (SCVC)

Apprenticeships provide training and development for those people who wish to enter the workboat industry.

Apprenticeships are based on achievement and time being served. Therefore, at the commencement of an apprenticeship an Individual Training Plan is agreed with each apprentice and the employer. This plan will specify a duration that will allow the apprentice a reasonable prospect of successful completion of the programme. The training plan will be reviewed at regular intervals and the duration of the apprenticeship may change as a result of these reviews.

The apprenticeship is aimed at those newly entering the workboat industry and aspiring to reach the first milestone on a workboat vessel, i.e. to become a useful deckhand. As a deckhand, the job requires a range of individual and team responsibilities.

A typical job role may include being:

  • a member of one of the bridge watch teams – steering, lookout, contributing to safe navigation
  • a member of the deck team – operating and maintaining deck gear, operating deck machinery
  • assisting with all aspects of vessel maintenance

The apprenticeship includes the following sample qualifications and others:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies (Workboat pathway)
  • STCW certificates in:
  • Personal Survival Techniques
  • Elementary First Aid
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
  • Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting
  • Proficiency in Designated Security Duties

Proficiency in Survival Craft & Rescue Boats (optional)

  • MCA Approved Engine Course (AEC) Parts 1 & 2
  • Slinger & Signaller Certificate
  • Marine Hydraulic Loader Crane Operators Certificate
  • VHF/GMDSS Radio Operators Certificate

The apprentice will be paid by their employer under the terms of their Contract of Employment.

Subsistence and/or travelling allowances will also be payable by the Employer.


Off the Job Training

The apprentice will undertake various lessons around knowledge based and competence based units which will be qualified by completing a Diploma in Maritime Studies which includes:-

  • Survival in the water during maritime emergencies (STCW PST)
  • Emergency first aid in response to maritime accidents or medical emergencies (STCW)
  • Maritime fire prevention and fire actions (STCW)
  • Communicate using equipment and visual means
  • Maritime sector overview
  • Maritime employment, environmental health and safety practice
  • Vessel ropework and anchoring and mooring operations
  • Securing a vessel for passage
  • Basic Navigational Watchkeeping
  • Contribute to workboat operations
  • Control operation of survival craft & rescue boats

Assessment will take place regularly during the classroom training, and results held on file. At the end of classroom training, the each unit will be assessed by multiple choice examination papers.

Functional Skills (where required) may be introduced at an early stage and where possible will be completed by the end of the main classroom period in order that sea duty is not interrupted.

The Apprentice will return to their Employer for on-the-job training.

On the Job Training

When completing the sea duty training, apprentices are required to complete sections of the Workboat Association Training Record Book, and when progressing and have become competent, this will be signed off by the Skipper or First Mate in order to achieve the diploma certificate section of the apprenticeship.

The apprentice will continue to undertake on the job, practical training with his/her employer on board company vessels and will continue to accrue sea time experience.

End-Point Assessment

Once the apprentice has achieved all necessary on and off the job training, he/she will have reached a stage called the “Gateway” and arrangements will be made with the End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) to visit the Employer and undertake the End Point Assessment (EPA) with the apprentice/s. Details of the EPA can be viewed at our downloads page.

Progression Opportunities

Information, advice and guidance (IAG) regarding progression opportunities can be given upon application enquiry to the employer.

At the training centre and throughout the training period, the apprentice will receive regular IAG in respect of all aspects of training.

All the qualifications have a direct link into Maritime and Coastguard Agency statutory certification system.

For the qualified Level 3 Apprentice progression opportunities lead to:

  • Full time employment as a deck hand
  • Further training within your company
  • MCA Class 2 Deck Officer certificate
  • MCA Class 1 Deck Officer certificate
  • Application to Merchant Navy as deck rating
  • Application to Royal Navy as deck rating
  • Maritime & Coastguard Agency
  • R.N.L.I.
  • Offshore Renewables industry

How to apply

Applicants should look out in local newspapers, industry magazines and company websites for apprenticeship vacancies.

Applicants should apply directly to the workboat company for an apprenticeship place or contact 54 North Maritime Training to register your interest. If you are successful in gaining an interview, you can expect that there may be a second interview at our training centre to ensure that you are a suitable candidate.

Interview procedure

If your application is successful, you will be invited to interview by the workboat employer.

If you are shortlisted, you may expect to attend a second interview here at the training centre to ensure your suitability. Some applicants who live a long way from Whitby will need to travel to the town the day before. If you need to do this we can give advice regarding places to stay and the best route to travel.

When you arrive at the training centre for a second interview, you will be required to complete a Literacy and a Numeracy assessment.

Once you have completed your assessments you will begin your interview.  We will have an informal chat – you can tell us about your background, previous work experience, what things you are good at, etc. We can tell you about how the training centre runs and what we expect of you.

We will ask questions – you can ask questions too.

Once all the interviews have been completed we will contact your prospective employer within approximately 5 working days to let them know the results.

If you are successful – well done! We will send you and your employer joining instructions and a start date.

Employer information

The apprenticeship in Small Commercial Vessel Crewmember (SCVC)

This new qualification allows employers to take on new starters as apprentices and develop their skills to become a valuable crew member for your company. The Apprentice will complete various courses, gaining maritime qualifications and completing all certificates as shown above.  

The Basics

Workboat companies are required to liaise with 54 North Maritime Training of their intention to employ a Workboat Apprentice(s).

The intake/enrolment date will be advised to the employer together with requirements of 54 North Maritime Training.

The Employer to advertise the apprenticeship vacancy, interview and then either:-

decide and choose the required applicant(s)


refer a shortlist of applicants to 54 North Maritime Training for a 2nd interview to ensure suitability. 54 North Maritime Training to advise employer of preference.

Before the start of training with 54 North Maritime Training, the employer will take on the apprentice(s), issue a contract of employment, complete the usual company induction.  The apprentice will undertake off the job, classroom-based training at Whitby, North Yorkshire. STCW basic safety courses will be achieved. 54 North Maritime Training will arrange accommodation.

Contact Us:-

54 North Maritime Training
Whitby Mission & Seafarers’ Centre
North Yorkshire, YO21 3PP
Tel: 01947 825871