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  • Best companies for "older" cadets + ETO question

    Hi all,

    Am looking to do a engine or engine/ETO cadetship in Sept 2011.

    Will be 29 by then and am looking for a company that is happy for your ?older? guys to be on-board.

    From reading through the forum it looks like good bets (based on older guys getting in!) would be: Bibby, Trinity House, maybe James Fisher (PNTL) or SSTG, RFA (though tbh I think passing the RFAAIB may be v.difficult)

    Do you think that for engine or ETO cadets all companies are more ?flexible? on age as there are less candidates? Am I right in thinking the oil companies and cruise companies prefer younger guys?

    On maybe a separate note, any words of wisdom on the ETO situation at the moment ? I think I would be reluctant to do a ?pure? ETO FD at STC (think Carnival and BP offer that) as does it limit you to ships that only offer specialist ETO positions? I reckon the normal EOOW + ETO extras (Warsash style?) give more flexibility for moving around, different jobs etc. Happy doing the normal eng cadetship if a good company offered me a place!

    Any advice/thoughts on the above

    Thanks guys...
    SL

  • #2
    Re: Best companies for "older" cadets + ETO question

    Im 29 also and found Maersk to be spot on. I start in 3 weeks for those guys and have no compints thus far, from an administration point of view anyway. Cadets as old as 34 were taken on in 2010 intake, so although I was aprehensive like yourself, those doubts are soon put to bed.

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    • #3
      Re: Best companies for "older" cadets + ETO question

      Hi Squareleg,

      You may be surprised to find that you are nearer the median age for cadets than you think. I'm hoping we get more members so we can conduct anonymous surveys to get a sense of the reality of who joins and why - it could be interesting reading and help dispel some myths.

      I can confirm that cadets older than you have been taken on by almost all the main sponsors from what I've heard... including the ones that you might assume you had less chance of getting. Age seems to be no barrier - as long as your story makes sense.
      The AIB isn't really difficult, but it does require a decent period of specific preparation, which takes a bit of dedication, but I think it suits a particular type of person - the more RFAers you meet the more you'll get a feel for whether it suits you or not.

      Originally posted by Squareleg28
      Do you think that for engine or ETO cadets all companies are more ?flexible? on age as there are less candidates?
      I think most of them look at your CV and expect to see more in it for a start. If you get to interview you are probably expected to make your whole plan make sense to them in terms of viability of you getting through the training both academically and financially; and then for your whole life plan: "what led you to this?" and "where is it taking you?", to make sense.
      A popular story that seems to make sense is that you are bored of your current job, the expense, bureaucracy and lack of (interesting) opportunities in the UK and want to live abroad with all the benefits (that I probably don't need to list) etc...

      Originally posted by Squareleg28
      Am I right in thinking the oil companies and cruise companies prefer younger guys?
      Hard to say, there do seem to be reports of older cadets taken on by both, but don't know how many. My guess is that there are fewer older cadets with the Cruise ships because of the cabin sharing... perhaps they think it might be a bit weird or unworkable somehow to have someone in their late teens sharing a room with someone in their late 20s or 30s?! I imagine that large ships like box boats and oil tankers have plenty of room for own cabins, and so this is perhaps less of an issue.
      Naturally the relevance of your background probably matters... if you've had a career in something like Hotels, Trolley Dollying, and Holiday Repping, that's going to do you more good at a Cruise ship interview than an Oil tanker company interview... (well, you'd hope so!).


      There's nothing wrong with the "true" ETO route... it just leads down a different path (i.e. not to Chief Engineer). Sure the cadetship options are narrower, but there are plenty of (well-paying, secure) jobs in it beyond that in all sorts from megayachts to ROV support vessels. It's healthy to go for what you are most interested in, because it will be more rewarding and you will probably have a better time (and get better results).
      Emeritus Admin & Founding Member

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      • #4
        Re: Best companies for "older" cadets + ETO question

        29 a median cadet.........jeeeeeesh I signed my first contract @ 17 and *still* havent quit...........bad luck for you lot though, means nothing is new
        Trust me I'm a Chief.

        Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
        Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
        No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


        Twitter:- @DeeChief

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        • #5
          Re: Best companies for "older" cadets + ETO question

          I reckon 26 is the median, and 22 is the mode... I've heard of two cadets in their 40s... one was reportedly 45, which could affect the median a fair bit if they were included in the stats (but we haven't started collecting data on this, but I think it would be an interesting set of graphs).

          I don't think there are quite as many 17-year-olds as there were!
          Emeritus Admin & Founding Member

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          • #6
            Re: Best companies for "older" cadets + ETO question

            From what I've seen in my (limited) experience, the vast majority seem to be 17/18. If you're taking your data from the roll calls here remember that you have to account for the fact that older cadets are more likely to research things more and find the site.
            sigpic
            Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

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            • #7
              Re: Best companies for "older" cadets + ETO question

              An interviewer with Clyde told me that the average age of cadets is 22. I dont know if that is with them or overall tho.

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              • #8
                Re: Best companies for "older" cadets + ETO question

                I reckon the age demographic graph will look something like this:


                With age of cadet increasing as you go leftwards... so Clyde probably mean that most of their cadets are around 22 (the mode). So I reckon the set of averages more or less covers all 20-somethings.
                Emeritus Admin & Founding Member

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                • #9
                  Re: Best companies for "older" cadets + ETO question

                  What are the on-board attitudes like to older cadets from the qualified officers? Or is it the usual working environment of if you work hard and don?t piss about then that = being treated okay, helped etc. Obviously for older guys there has to be an understanding that the guys in charge will probably be younger than oneself (not a prob for me, could be for some maybe) and a sensible, learning attitude is to be adopted.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Best companies for "older" cadets + ETO question

                    Hey im 26! and due to start in September. My story pretty much fits the above... had good career as Commercial Manager in the engineering industry for 5 and bit years but sick to death of excel spreadsheets and sitting in meetings with people gargling on the company sperm! Roll on September 6th can't wait to start rest of my life.

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                    • #11
                      Having started the dedicatedSTC ETO course last year at 28. I found CMT had no real issue yes they wwanted to make sure that I had a good understanding of what i was doing which was making the move from super yachts to ships. I think the thing you have to remember and its vaild for all tonnage tax cadets, as long as you stick it out both the managing company and the sponsor are making money to some degree. The companies also cant discriminate on your age but as everyone knows thats easy enough to get around.

                      As far as the ETO or EOOW with the eto endorsment goes I would agree choose what your most interested in, the ETO course covers a fair amount more than just the two extra subjects that the warsash course has and so should in time be seen as a more able ETO, however if your working for a company that doesnt carry a dedicated eto then being an EOOW but with decent electrical skills will help so it can lift you above all the other EOOW. I suppose the other big question is do you want to be a watch keep adn have the career route to the Chiefs or stay in the more specialised field
                      you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

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                      • #12
                        I can see it bring more difficult for older cadets, and have sailed with many who are older then me. But with determination and the right attitude they will succeed. It will be difficult being around a young peer group, and living on a small allowance. You will come across senior officers younger then you (I'm 26 and chief off, have sailed with captains my age).
                        Just go in with lots of motivation.

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                        • #13
                          As an older cadet, I can confirm that being around a significantly younger peer group at college can be "hard work" (both in terms of lack of things in common, and lack of mutual empathy/understanding = stuff you've forgotten, and stuff they've never experienced and can't relate to), as is living on less money than you could.

                          However, being at sea is quite different and can be much better than college (reports of experiences from different cadets vary!). I dunno about "go in with lots of motivation", I would say *go in with the right motivation*: that what is important is to be able to understand what you are doing and why you are doing it, and not underestimate the sacrifices involved, and to identify and understand any problems, and not be blase about how specific things might affect you emotionally; but be realistic about them. If you go in with the wrong motivation, even if there's lots of it then it can go downhill I imagine, with bouts of negative emotion resulting from misconceived expectations.

                          Being at college may not be "fun", and it may drive you up the wall at times for all sorts of different reasons... there are all sorts of aspects of your normal life that you have to give up for a period... sleeping in a little bedsit on a corridor full of noisy kids keen to "express themselves", and various expectations you might have about the college not being realised. Being at sea is the easy part - that's more like real life, where you can end up with a lot of senior officers a similar age to you, who treat you much more like a colleague than a greenhorn (though again, reports of experiences vary).

                          I know of one older cadet who felt like they were treated like a kid on board, whereas my experience on board has been quite different - but we are with quite different ships and companies. My new chief this morning realised that had I been trained to do a particular thing, he could have used me to help spread the work load during a major crew change, so I might suggest that officers can make their lives a bit easier in the very practical sense of getting more than one thing done at the same time and thus meeting a deadline or maintaining some continuity of some task by making use of what extra skills an older cadet can sometimes bring that a younger one might not.
                          Emeritus Admin & Founding Member

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                          • #14
                            Ive just finished my first year in NMCI in Ireland and i am about to go on my first ship soon, but in my class of around 20 people nearly half were mature students (over 23) im 24 myself and loved the course so i hope i will love the sea as much. One of the lads is 31 another 27 then two 26 and so on and we all helped each other out and found no problems with the younger lads. I got with trinity house and the other two from my class that got trinity are 22, also the other older cadets got placement with companies no problem.

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