The UK’s maritime industry is a major part of our heritage and continues to be a major international force. The sector includes companies ranging from small, local businesses to globally recognisable names – there are over 5,000 companies in the maritime industry alone. As an island nation, the shipping and maritime sectors are crucially important to the UK economy; a majority of the goods you use every day were brought into the country by ship. You could join the 240,000 other people who work within this ever growing and highly rewarding industry.
From prestigious cruise liners to high-tech bulk carriers, every ship is different, along with the roles available on board. You could be a navigation officer, a part of the engineering team or even a member of the catering crew. This is an industry that offers plenty of opportunities for adventure, in certain roles it’s even expected that you travel all over the world and visit some amazing locations.
The maritime industry is constantly evolving in response to the demands of the modern world and so there are plenty of positive career prospects for those of all backgrounds. If you have an interests in ensuring sustainability, shipping, sales, becoming a pilot or even just port control, there are a huge range of opportunities out there to suit anyone.
Sea-faring work experience is highly useful to a career in the maritime industry – after all, it’s never too early to find out if you suffer from sea sickness. There are opportunities across the UK in order to build your skills and get you ready for the workplace. Not only will you develop the aptitude that makes you an attractive employee, but you’ll also be able find out if you enjoy the role you are working in and if you wish to pursue this in the future.
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Apprenticeships are highly suited to the maritime industry as so many jobs involved require a mix of practical learning and theoretical study. In an apprenticeship, you’ll have the chance to learn on-the-job alongside experienced colleagues and also get to grips with some academic learning behind the industry at a training provider or college. Not only will your training costs be paid for by your employer, but you’ll also be paid a salary as you build a strong foundation for your future career. Here are some apprenticeship opportunities that you could consider:
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A degree apprenticeship is an excellent option for you if you wish to pursue a career in the maritime industry. Not only will you gain your bachelor’s or master’s degree in a maritime related field, but this will be paid for by your employer as well as your salary – that means no student debt and the chance to start earning! You’ll also spend most of your time in the workplace, working alongside experienced professionals and getting to grips with the skills necessary to excel in the maritime industry.
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Though a degree is not necessary to enter many roles in the maritime industry, some management, engineering or scientific careers may require proof of an undergraduate qualification from their candidates. A degree will give you the opportunity to choose which area of the maritime industry you’d like to specialise in – you could pick your modules to study that reflect your interests. You’ll be able to learn the academic and theoretical knowledge behind the sector so you can apply this to your role when you graduate and contribute to the success of your company. It’s advisable that you look for a degree with a year in industry in order to get you the practical experience that employers look for.
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If you already have a degree and wish to begin a career in the maritime industry, why not check out a graduate job or scheme. In a graduate job you have the chance to get stuck in straight away and gets hand on in the work. Or on the other hand, a graduate scheme will offer you a structured training programme aimed at delivering the skills you need to further develop your career. Not only will you have a chance to increase your prospects and talents, but you’ll also be able to learn from the example of other maritime professionals as you rotate around the company, getting a feel for the different roles that are available to you.
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The industry has plenty of stories of people who started at the bottom and worked their way to the top – this is an industry that recognises hard work and natural talent. However, there are many roles within the maritime industry that require specific qualifications or certifications in order to be considered by employers. If you’re feeling a bit stuck, why not contact some employers or local training providers to find out more on how you could get your dream role in the maritime industry.
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