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Advice for 2011 Eng applicant

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  • Advice for 2011 Eng applicant


    I?m a mew member to this forum and am looking at an engineering cadetship. Hoping that other members could give me some feedback or advise on the following questions.

    ? Firstly it?s the age question; I?m 31 and looking at next years September intake. After reviewing similar posts on this topic it seems age is an issue for some companies/training providers (although they wouldn?t admit it) so who would I be wasting my time applying with?

    ? Academic: In? 99 I did the first year of a Maritime studies BSc at John Moores but dropped out. I now work in construction management but have always regretted not pursuing a career at sea. I have the minimum grades to apply but am considering going back to college for a year to improve maths / physics and maybe gain some other useful qual?s, i.e. AS engineering and maybe do a Marine engineering C&G level 3 that a local collage offers. It seems pointless applying now and finding the academic ramp a bit to steep after years out of the education system. Also could I apply whilst studying or would I have to wait until results are issued?

    Any advice or views gratefully received


  • #2
    Re: Advice for 2011 Eng applicant

    I know the RFA take older cadets (one on my course who's 30), Bibby have no age restrictions either (im 27 and i'm a cadet with them). Not sure of any others though.

    You could apply whilst studying but you should make sure the course finishes before you start. If your doing HND then (at South Tyneside anyway) you will start the course doing ONC level in the first phase which isn't too difficult. There's plenty of maths involved but its built up from a low level (around GCSE level), you will be suprised how quick it comes back to you even 10 years after your GCSE's


    • #3
      Re: Advice for 2011 Eng applicant

      my reckoning is...

      Low resistance operators include:
      RFA; Bibby; SSTG; Clyde; Maersk...

      High resistance operators include:
      JO Tankers; most cruiseship outfits (I reckon) = Viking/Chiltern, Carnival, Princess; oilies; scholarships (Trinity/Conway/London)...

      Who else is there? Anglo-Eastern? Pritchard-Gordon? Dunno about them.

      Older electrical cadets may be less likely to have trouble from cruiseships and the scholarship outfits... (there's an article in Shiptalk in our News section)... mainly because of the rumoured major shortage of marine electrical staff.

      You're certainly not the oldest anyway; so relax.
      Deck will probably always be harder to get into, as more people apply for that anyway.

      I believe that SSTG have cadets up 42 years old this year, and Maersk may have a 35 year old; Bibby advertise a 32-year old on their site I think; the RFA are probably forbidden from making anyone under the age of about 57 or something feel unwelcome... I think I've heard they've got a 45-ish deck cadet; Clyde may have not so long ago took the oldest publicised cadet who may have been 48... not sure.
      Anyway, I think the demographic is higher than it used to be, and the companies are probably getting used to people over 30 applying. Maybe the bulk of cadets who make it to the end are in their late 20s anyway these days - I reckon a lot of the very young ones drop out (it's rumoured that around 25% of cadets drop out overall... usually after the first sea phase.)

      To be honest, I think your main barrier is convincing the recruiter that you can afford to do it. The evidence of older cadets doing well on these programmes is already there; the issue is does your story add up? Do your motivations make sense? Does the timing make sense? (Recession...)
      This was a consistent theme in my experience... their POV seems to be, "yeah, you are probably very capable of doing it, but why do you want to?!" (i.e. not much money to train; takes a long time to train; might be boring or too easy; lots of youngsters in the class you don't have much in common with etc...).
      You probably need to explain why you dropped out of your previous attempt, convincingly as well (to them!). You could always forget about mentioning it... why complicate life? It may just plant a seed of doubt that makes them err on the side of caution and turn you down... you want to be selling yourself as Mr Committed and Reliable I would have thought.

      It's not just a Merchant Navy thing either, I think a lot of "traditional" industries get older people bothering them these days wanting to escape their monotonous lives to start again doing something (less office-based) they wished they'd done when they were younger (like being a blacksmith or something). I think the common thing that the trainers want convincing about is whether it's just a random whim you had last Saturday, or whether you've really been committed to this idea for a long while, and done something tangible about it - including making sure you know what you're getting into (and can demonstrate lots of research); a school-leaver or anyone under 25 maybe doesn't need to do that.

      If you're thinking of warming up for it, I would maybe try focussing doing just one thing and doing it well (because you can insinuate that you'd do that well in other things)... focus on getting to grips with maths (we got links baby), and then balance it with something non-cerebral, like plumbing... keep it simple, don't try and do too much... learning technical stuff is just like going to the gymn... if you go in just trying to pump all the biggest weights with a great big sweaty grimace (followed by flexing and glancing in the mirrors), the next day you won't be able to get out of bed! ...and you're regime is over for a week!
      Emeritus Admin & Founding Member


      • #4
        Re: Advice for 2011 Eng applicant

        I spoke to someone from SSTG last week and said I was old at 26. She said that they don't consider that old any more. So I think you would be fine with SSTG.

        Like Scotty said I think convincing them is important. I have been giving the idea of a cadetship serious thought for the last couple of years as my current job is getting to be less interesting than it was 8 years ago. Even after a couple of years of thinking about a career at sea it still interests me very much so I think I am at the right point to go for it. Of course you cannot be 100% certain about it until you have been to sea but I don't see me dropping out and also you never know until you sample the goods as it were.


        • #5
          Re: Advice for 2011 Eng applicant

          Hi, I wouldn't worry so much about the age thing.

          I'm a 32-year old female with no experience of being at sea, but I was accepted by Saga Cruises (via SSTG) to commence a Deck FD in September 2010 because of sheer enthusiasm and my achievements over the years, which they took notice of.

          If this is what you really want to do, then you may find you get rejected by some, but you will not be rejected by all, so just be determined and demonstrate your enthusiasm.

          Also, ensure you have good reasons for the late change of career path, as they will need assurance that this decision isn't based on a whim, particularly as they will be investing about ?40K into your sponsorship package once you get accepted.
          I Aear c?n ven na mar. (Elvish)
          Ee eye-are kahn vehn nah mar. (Pronunciation)
          The Sea calls us home. (English translation)


          • #6
            Re: Advice for 2011 Eng applicant

            Thanks for the advice.

            Since mt last post i've handed in my notice and enroled at a local college for sept. I'm considering applying to sponsorship companys for HND intake in Jan. If I got in, great, if not at least it puts me on thier 'radar', possibile an interview or two which would give a good understanding and experience of the recuitment process for a later application.

            Your thoughts on this?

            As RVW and Rennels have said, its all about showing determination, research, and motivation (especially for the more mature cadet). Not just a whin dreamt up after a bad day at work.


            • #7
              Re: Advice for 2011 Eng applicant


              You should give SSTG a shot, as the man in charge of recruitment (Steve) is extremely down to earth and has excellent judgement. If he knows you're serious and believes you're capable, he'll do everything he can to get you the sponsorship that you want.

              I wish you all the best!
              I Aear c?n ven na mar. (Elvish)
              Ee eye-are kahn vehn nah mar. (Pronunciation)
              The Sea calls us home. (English translation)