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  • Science, age and jobs

    Hi can anyone help me with these questions (Deck Officer Cadet):


    I have maths and arithmetic o levels I don't have a higher in physics or other science. It's over 25 years since I was at school. I am concerned that i don't have enough qualification to do a course. I asked Glasgow College but didn't get a clear answer. I was reading about the course Maths at Sea. Do you think I should do this before applying?


    I am 44, there seems to be plenty of chat about age and going to sea and that doesn't seem to be a problem. If I am to do this I want to work to retirement. The job sounds quite physical do people generally work to retirement or are they giving up with knackered bodies in there 50's? Or is it more of a fitness issue?


    Are there jobs once cadet training is finished? I was reading an old post 2006 on another site that said there were many cadets finding it hard to get work. Is there work?


    Do you have to know what type of ship you want to work on before applying?

  • #2
    Hi, although I've not started my cadetship I am starting on 6th January in Glasgow. I am also on the older side of starting (32). I would probably phone/email the companies directly to ask if your qualifications/experience meet their entry requirements. If you email them then your more likely to get an official reply rather than a possible subjective one from someone in the office. I would also wait until February as the companies tend to be very busy in January managing the new deck recruits.

    As for fitness, as long as you pass the ENG1 medical then you are fit enough to work at sea. I don't think it's difficult to pass but you could always fork out ?80 to arrange it yourself to address any concerns you might have.

    I can't answer anything about the chances of getting a job afterwards but I think most people do get a job after. From what I've read some get let go and look for a while but get something eventually.

    Hope this helps.
    http://desdons.wordpress.com/

    Twitter: @desdons

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    • #3
      Originally posted by desdons View Post
      Hi, although I've not started my cadetship I am starting on 6th January in Glasgow. I am also on the older side of starting (32). I would probably phone/email the companies directly to ask if your qualifications/experience meet their entry requirements. If you email them then your more likely to get an official reply rather than a possible subjective one from someone in the office. I would also wait until February as the companies tend to be very busy in January managing the new deck recruits.

      As for fitness, as long as you pass the ENG1 medical then you are fit enough to work at sea. I don't think it's difficult to pass but you could always fork out ?80 to arrange it yourself to address any concerns you might have.

      I can't answer anything about the chances of getting a job afterwards but I think most people do get a job after. From what I've read some get let go and look for a while but get something eventually.

      Hope this helps.

      Hi desdons


      Thank you very much for taking the time to respond I will act on your good advice. All the best with your course in the new year, wish I was starting then : ).

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by desdons View Post
        I think most people do get a job after
        If they didn't, then that 3 years was a waste of time....

        Anywho, As Desdon's said, if you can pass an ENG1 then you're ok. Don't lie or conceal anything during it, because if the brown sticky stuff hits the fan whilst you're at sea, then you're putting the rest of your crew at risk.

        To check to see if your qualifications match, try sending an email into the colleges, with an up-to-date CV, and asking them as the academic entry requirements come from them, not the sponsors.

        When it comes to age, i'm not going to lie, 44 may be a bit more of a problem than someone in their 30's, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened before. There was some ex. firefighter a few years back who went off and became a deckie at 45. I do know of one chappy on a CalMac vessel who started sailing at 55 as a rating and was still hanging about like a bad smell at 65. So it's not beyond the realms of possibility.

        Out of curiosity, what sort of work do you do now?
        I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

        All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would definitely recommend brushing up on your maths as I believe the deck officer course is quite mathematical (spherical trigonometry etc.) and if you have been out of education for a while it might be best ton ease yourself back into things.

          Your age should not be a disadvantage in terms of actually performing the job, depending on which sector of the industry you go to a deck officers job can range from dragging heavy equipment round the deck in bad weather, to sitting on the bridge drinking coffee and occasionally taking a look out of the windows in between Facebook posts , so bear that in mind when you are applying as you may struggle physically in something like the offshore industry.

          Many companies now recognise the value of employing older cadets so hopefully you should be OK, however if you have a look around here some cadets are struggling to find work at the end of their cadetship so try if you can to get sponsored directly by a company which at least aims to employ it's cadets after training (I don't think any will guarantee to employ you).

          Good luck and keep us posted as you go on.
          Go out, do stuff

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi, welcome to the forum and don't worry about your age, discrimination is illegal these days. With regards to your qualifications, I'd say to check it out. I'm not too sure where O levels stand, I'm on the older side of starting out (34) but I did GCSEs. The best thing to do would be to call the recruiters of your chosen company and ask them. As an aside, have you thought about the RFA? No age discrimation, and they tend to employ their cadets at the end of the cadetship.
            'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans'

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks very much for taking the time to respond – very much appreciated.

              Regarding fitness – I use the gym regularly and am not carrying any excess plumage ; ), I currently don’t have any health issues and I don’t smoke but whisky is my best friend! My main concern was if I chose this as a new career is it so physical that I would be struggling in later years. I understand having read other blog posts that the cadet period can be quite physical work – which is fine but I was to keen hear your experience post cadet course. As you can image I don’t want to retrain again a few years down the line.

              Age discrimination -I understand in theory there is no age discrimination but in reality we know that might not always be the case and a rejection can be disguised as other less controversial issues (as friends of mine have found in other industries).

              As for qualifications - have asked Glasgow College and Clyde Marine directly but was given a generic response of ‘each application is measured on its own merits’ which brought me to asking frank advice from yourselves.
              I currently run an advertising agency which I have done for the last 24 years. But I am considering a new career and Deck Officer is at the top of my list. But as you can imagine I would like to get as much information about this career before making such a big commitment.

              Cheers

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Holdfast View Post

                I currently run an advertising agency which I have done for the last 24 years.
                Cheers
                Not to be nasty, but to be honest, I think this is going to be your major sticking point as far as interviews and what not go. The main questions they're going to ask themselves and you are: -

                1) He runs, what is probably, a fairly successful business. Why would he want to give that up?
                2) Will he be able to support himself and his family on a cadet's subsistence pay?
                3) He's currently the boss, will he be able to go back to being a lowly ranked cadet?
                I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ok I understand the concerns but let's put those worries aside just for the moment and assume there is "more slippery answers than a bar of soap in a hot shower" for them all. It would be great at this stage to hear your thoughts on my questions?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You will need equivilent qualifications to those asked for. The maths you appear to have (if they are of a C grade or above), however if I understand correctly you don't have physics which will probably be an issue. Your work experience isn't something that will be allowed in lieu of the qualifications for these particular courses. I'm surprised that glasgow have been so vague, perhaps you could try contacting Warsash or South Shields to see if they can assess your qualifications and their equivilence for the cadetship courses?

                    Comment

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