What’s it about?

From large luxury powerboats and sports boats to wooden dinghies and narrowboats, the marine industry can produce a wide range of professions dealing with watercraft for you to indulge in.

An apprenticeship in this trade has several pathways which could see you working in a number of roles- from aspects of boat building, maintenance and repair, to marine engineering, electrics and electronics. Most apprentices will work under the supervision of others and undertake tasks such as boat handling, support, repair, and outfitting.

You won’t necessarily be working in coastal areas either, as a fair amount of the UK’s waterways industry is based around canals, rivers and lakes. So don’t worry if moving far away from home is your only hindrance.

Who’s it for?

It’s vital you’re a physically fit person as you’ll be crafting away with much manual work which can really take its toll. Practical and technical skills are important too as constructing frameworks could play a big part in your apprenticeship.

Those in the marine industry spend a large period of time away from home and work unsociable hours- you’ll need to be prepared and willing to do this if you want to survive in the industry.

Having the ability to communicate well with others and being a good team player are both essential skills for marine professionals.

What do I get out of it?

As an apprentice, you could learn a variety of skills and techniques to build boats of all sizes and for all functions. You might use carpentry, electrical, plumbing and welding skills as well as more traditional maritime craft skills like rigging and sailmaking. The work could involve constructing frameworks, hulls and decks – even installing parts such as engines, propellers and steering systems.

Apprentices on the advanced apprenticeship will be working as craftspeople and taking up more complex work without direct supervision. Many career paths stem from this apprenticeship – at the end of it, you’ll have a large range of skills and the practical experience needed to get ahead in the industry.

The framework of the apprenticeship consists of, an NVQ at Level 2 or Level 3 with an advanced apprenticeship. Those taking the advanced level could go on to do a higher qualification such as an HNC or NVQ at Level 4. And there is likely to be a combination of on-the-job and off-the-job training.

Job roles as a marine craftsperson, engineering technician or a boatbuilder are just a few of the opportunities that will be available to those who complete the apprenticeship. A starting salary of £12k- £17k once qualified, is standard in the industry.

There is a particular shortage of skilled craftspeople and technicians at the moment in the marine sector- so an apprenticeship is a great option!

So…all aboard!