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Is this the end of the shipping industry for brits?

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  • Originally posted by zrrhqgjv View Post

    https://www.officercadet.com/forum/d...-without-ships

    Looking at your post here your are obviously a lovely person capable of considering another persons viewpoint.
    This made me laugh out loud when I clicked the link and saw the comment you're referring to.

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    • Originally posted by Guest View Post
      I've been searching for a long long time and can't find a job at sea, think I'm going to move industry and work in the supermarkets, the money is almost as good, especially when you get to manager level. Lots of other benefits too.

      Could it be false advertising when people say there is a shortage of officers from the UK when there must actually be a big surplus.
      Very much so. There is no shortage as there is no demand for British officers. However, there is still a demand for cadets to be churned through the system and spat out after three years spent in training.

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      • Originally posted by Guest View Post

        Very much so. There is no shortage as there is no demand for British officers. However, there is still a demand for cadets to be churned through the system and spat out after three years spent in training.
        You could be in the minority thinking/experiencing this, we'll never know because you're all "Guest" and nobody knows if you are one person or thirty individuals commenting. None of my social/professional network are currently unemployed whether they be seafaring, working in shipping jobs ashore or have transitioned from seafaring into unrelated shore positions - all are British and the split is probably 20/30/50% ETO/deck/engine. Of the seafarers they're working on container ships, yachts, tankers, supply boats, cruise ships and ferries. Most qualified within the last 6 years.

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        • One growth area for employment of Brits will be on vessels involved with the offshore wind sector, the Tories recently announced that they are setting the target of having all the homes in the UK powered by offshore by 2030.

          But the increase in offshore wind jobs might not lead to an increase in the overall number of UK seafarer jobs as it coincides with the loss of oil and gas related jobs. Over the next few decades UK oil and gas production is projected to decline to almost nothing and offshore wind power to increase massively, if young people around the age of 16 want a career that will last them until they're 65 then they would probably be better avoiding oil and gas and trying to get into wind.

          Hopefully the wind related jobs are advertised fairly, as it would be a shame if the jobs went to the people losing the jobs in oil and gas who already have friends working in the wind sector and they get them in through private recommendations.

          The growth in offshore wind is probably another reason why it is better to become an Engineer or ETO and not a deck cadet, it will probably be much easier for Engineers and ETOs to move into the wind farm maintenance side when deck people can't as they have no transferable skills.

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          • This is where the problems with cadet training show through.
            We are training cadets to be deck officers on bulk carriers and container ships and then they are not able to easily transfer to high tech vessels in the offshore and renewables sector.
            There need to be a complete change of approach to training cadets in the UK so newly qualified officers have skills that match the vessels they are likely to be able to work on.

            However this will cost money and cut into the profits so it will probably never happen.

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            • Originally posted by zrrhqgjv View Post
              This is where the problems with cadet training show through.
              We are training cadets to be deck officers on bulk carriers and container ships and then they are not able to easily transfer to high tech vessels in the offshore and renewables sector.
              There need to be a complete change of approach to training cadets in the UK so newly qualified officers have skills that match the vessels they are likely to be able to work on.

              However this will cost money and cut into the profits so it will probably never happen.
              Yeah there are some ship types that very few job openings for people from the UK, some people wish the MCA would bring in certificates of competency that are limited by ship type.

              E.g. people could choose to have their CoC limited not to include container ships, bulk carriers and oil tankers etc. if they didn't want it, so if they chose to have it limited for these ship types then they couldn't get asked questions specific to these types of vessel in their MCA exams. It would save people spending lots of time remembering facts about ships that they will probably never work on, although some people say that even if you never have the opportunity to work on a particular type of vessel it can be useful to know stuff about certain types of ship for some shore jobs.

              Lots of MCA surveyors have probably spent their career working on the types of vessel that not many people from the UK will work on, so they might struggle to think of questios to ask during orals as they will possibly want to ask questions related to the types of ship they served on as that's what most of their knowledge is in.

              But lots of deck cadets on massive bulk carriers with big crews will probably end up as the Skipper of a tiny wind-farm transfer vessel with a crew of two, but the pay on both vessels might be comparable.

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              • Originally posted by Guest View Post

                Yeah there are some ship types that very few job openings for people from the UK, some people wish the MCA would bring in certificates of competency that are limited by ship type.

                E.g. people could choose to have their CoC limited not to include container ships, bulk carriers and oil tankers etc. if they didn't want it, so if they chose to have it limited for these ship types then they couldn't get asked questions specific to these types of vessel in their MCA exams. It would save people spending lots of time remembering facts about ships that they will probably never work on, although some people say that even if you never have the opportunity to work on a particular type of vessel it can be useful to know stuff about certain types of ship for some shore jobs.

                Lots of MCA surveyors have probably spent their career working on the types of vessel that not many people from the UK will work on, so they might struggle to think of questios to ask during orals as they will possibly want to ask questions related to the types of ship they served on as that's what most of their knowledge is in.

                But lots of deck cadets on massive bulk carriers with big crews will probably end up as the Skipper of a tiny wind-farm transfer vessel with a crew of two, but the pay on both vessels might be comparable.
                I’ve never heard of these people wishing type specific CoCs existed. Probably a good job too, considering it would make no sense at a junior level at least. You’re examined on your ability to hold a safe watch, none of MGN69 for OOW level considers anything relevant to unique ship types. My guess is that this would only become relevant at CO level, where cargo operations differ massively from vessel type to vessel type?

                My orals certainly didn’t have anything too intensive about varying engine types, nor was I expected to know much about other ship types. If I can take over a watch safely on a ROPAX vessel, I can probably do it on any vessel.

                MCA surveyors are trained and examined just like you and I, they don’t get to be in the position of asking the questions unless they’re good at it. Being good at it doesn’t mean they have to have broad industry knowledge, their education covers above and beyond what is required knowledge-wise from the people they’re examining.

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                • Originally posted by agibbs98 View Post

                  I’ve never heard of these people wishing type specific CoCs existed. Probably a good job too, considering it would make no sense at a junior level at least. You’re examined on your ability to hold a safe watch, none of MGN69 for OOW level considers anything relevant to unique ship types. My guess is that this would only become relevant at CO level, where cargo operations differ massively from vessel type to vessel type?

                  My orals certainly didn’t have anything too intensive about varying engine types, nor was I expected to know much about other ship types. If I can take over a watch safely on a ROPAX vessel, I can probably do it on any vessel.

                  MCA surveyors are trained and examined just like you and I, they don’t get to be in the position of asking the questions unless they’re good at it. Being good at it doesn’t mean they have to have broad industry knowledge, their education covers above and beyond what is required knowledge-wise from the people they’re examining.
                  Although the engine department is in some ways closer to having ship specific COC's than deck with the motor/steam COC's.

                  You will find that guys going for deck orals get asked questions about ships they have never sailed on a lot more than engine candidates. Have a look at some past oral reports you will frequently see guys who have only sailed on passenger ships being asked about grain rules or guys from dredgers being asked about loading coal. The experience of MCA examiners is very bulk carrier heavy and therefore so are the exams.

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                  • Originally posted by zrrhqgjv View Post

                    Although the engine department is in some ways closer to having ship specific COC's than deck with the motor/steam COC's.

                    You will find that guys going for deck orals get asked questions about ships they have never sailed on a lot more than engine candidates. Have a look at some past oral reports you will frequently see guys who have only sailed on passenger ships being asked about grain rules or guys from dredgers being asked about loading coal. The experience of MCA examiners is very bulk carrier heavy and therefore so are the exams.
                    My point was more that you don’t have to sail on other ship types to be able to pass an oral with questions on other ship types, especially at OOW level. Nearly every engine cadet has their oral based on 2 or 4 stroke engines, when they’ve likely only sailed with one; the procedures in the engine room are almost entirely different with each. It’s still a doddle. The only people who seem to get frequently tripped up are those at COs orals where they’re expected to be competent at loading a bulker when their experience is PAX, this isn’t expected at OOW level... just a working knowledge suffices.

                    I don’t know how you all have intimate knowledge of the MCA examiner’s career history. In essence what is actually happening is you’re being examined on what you have least experience in, which is generally how professional exams work across the board. As above, it’s why engineers will almost always be asked about the opposite ship type and why ETOs from old ships will be asked about new ships and vice versa.

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                    • At OOW level you’re not going to fail purely because you have no idea about detailed procedures on bulk carriers... You might be asked some random question related to cargo ops but most are common sense and covered by a generic answer of “cargo securing manual or sms would detail procedure for xxx” - it’s not about detailed knowledge it’s showing that you have an overview and at least knowledge of where procedures should be detailed. Unless of course your unable to answer any question in any kind of detail! This is why the majority of the academic side is irrelevant to shipboard day to day life because it teaches the basics behind what we do/have onboard.

                      Where you will fail at OOW level are safety related things, buoyage and colregs which are generic across the board regardless of what specialist systems you may have onboard ships you sailed on as a cadet.

                      At higher level it’s still pretty generic - if your cruise side your screwed as your going to have to learn all the cargo and passenger regs, whereas those with only cargo based experience certainly seem (from orals reports) to be safe from having to have detailed knowledge of regs applicable only to pax ships).

                      As you progress your past experience will dictate your ship types - if you’ve only ever worked on cruise since OOW days your not going to get a job straight away as chief officer or master on a tanker or ferry and vice versa (at least with any company you would want to work for).


                      Were already behind some of the countries who we mainly compete with where there deck officers at OOW level also do engineering to varying extents.
                      “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

                      – Mark Twain
                      myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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                      • Originally posted by alistairuk View Post
                        Were already behind some of the countries who we mainly compete with where there deck officers at OOW level also do engineering to varying extents.
                        This is an interesting point and was debated quite a lot on ferries where this is common. We had French masters with chief engineers tickets and I met one 3rd engineer with a chief officers ticket. I don’t know if that makes them a jack of all trades, master of none or makes them a much better seafarer. The masters were definitely more popular as the understood the constraints of the propulsion plant which UK masters mostly abused to the point of the engines overspeeding and declutching.

                        I also sailed with an agency Polish 3rd engineer who had an ETO ticket as well, he was fighting jobs off left right and centre and ended up on a chemical tanker earning £55k as an ETO.

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                        • I would've loved to have had the opportunity to get dual qualified, seems pretty much impossible in the UK system though and there's an argument its a lot of extra training to do when you will likely end up specialising in one side only.

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                          • In all honesty ......if your below the age of say 35.......go do something else. Cheaper and cheaper foreign labour will replace us all eventually and it doesnt matter what government is in power , they will all sell us down the river in favour of pleasing their shareholder buddies.

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                            • Originally posted by 1234 View Post
                              In all honesty ......if your below the age of say 35.......go do something else. Cheaper and cheaper foreign labour will replace us all eventually and it doesnt matter what government is in power , they will all sell us down the river in favour of pleasing their shareholder buddies.
                              What else do you suggest people do, presumably the cheap foreign labour you talk of will replace British people everywhere eventually?

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                              • Originally posted by agibbs98 View Post

                                What else do you suggest people do, presumably the cheap foreign labour you talk of will replace British people everywhere eventually?
                                Electrical engineering , you can work on rigs , wind farms ,power stations or even become a house hold sparky .I'm on the rigs and most sparks walk round in clean boiler suits changing light bulbs for 70k

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