UKSA partners with Williams Shipping for new apprenticeship programme

UKSA is partnering with Williams Shipping for a new government-funded Workboat Crew Member apprenticeship programme. 

The two year programme is designed to give the apprentice all the skills, knowledge and behaviours to work on a wide variety of specialist vessels ranging from tugs and multi-purpose workboats to fast pilot boats and crew transfer vessels, taking personnel out to vessels or installations offshore. 

Workboat crew typically form part of a small, skilled team of two to four, working on a wide variety of specialist vessels including tugs, multicats, stores vessels, pilot boats and crew transfer vessels. The new scheme will offer specialist training combined with practical experience, and the prospect of employment.

The first four apprentices have already gained RYA Powerboat Level 2 and VHF Short-Range Radio certificates in addition to the core STCW short courses: First Aid at Sea, Sea Survival (PST), Fire Fighting, and Personal Safety and Social Responsibility. Over the duration of the course, they will start to gain the knowledge, skills and competence to work as part of an efficient team carrying out a variety of tasks. These include:

·       Communications 

·       Risk assessment

·       Navigation and vessel handling

·       Berthing 

·       Towing operations 

·       Anchor handling

·       Personnel transfers 

·       Cargo handling 

After their initial training at UKSA, the four apprentices will return to Williams Shipping locations in Pembrokeshire and Southampton to start their practical training on workboats. The course continues with rotations between training at UKSA and hands-on workboat experience, which should give these apprentices the skills they need for the variety of operations carried out at sea.

“We are really proud of these enthusiastic workboat apprentices who have already shown they have an appetite to work hard, learn new skills and take on the responsibilities of working at sea as part of a skilled vessel crew,” says Philip Williams, managing director – marine at Williams Shipping. “We are sure they will be great members of our team and look forward to working with them long into the future.”

“I’m delighted to be launching this fully funded programme in partnership with Williams Shipping,” says Ben Willows, CEO of UKSA. “The new programme represents a fantastic opportunity for students and doesn’t require them to have any previous experience. Over the course of the two years, the apprentices will obtain no less than ten industry recognised qualifications from STCW Navigational Watch certification through to food preparation and hygiene, ensuring they are fully prepared for an exciting career path.”

Apprentices must be aged between 18-25 to apply for the apprenticeship programme and pass the MCA’s ENG 1 medical. To apply, visit the UKSA website.

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