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  • Burning Questions

    Hi,

    I start Glasgow collage next Monday as a HND Deck Cadet, and to say the least I am bricking it. I originally wanted to be an Officer in the Royal Navy, but due to the long application process and high competition I decided to apply of the merchant navy as a back up. This was mainly because I have always wanted to travel and see the world while doing a job that I love.
    My first choice of sponsoring company was Royal Caribbean, I really had my heart set on them, but I recently discovered that it is practice for them to do second interviews which basically means that I am not with them.
    My questions are, If I end up with company/vessel type that I really don't like (if that's possible), can I change them?
    If I really do not like the course and want to leave, do I have no other option than pay the ?3000 to leave?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Hi, first of all good luck on Monday, I'm sure you will be fine.

    I assume you are with Clyde Marine? If you end up with a sponsoring company that you don't like then as far as I know it is unlikely that they will change your company without very good reason during your cadetship, however, when you are qualified you can apply to any shipping company and any sector, although the sector / company that you have trained with may affect how successful you are to some degree.

    As for paying back the GBP3,000 I really don't know, to be honest I would imagine that it would be very difficult to enforce, but I'm not sure so please don't take my word for it.

    Does anyone on the forum know of anyone who has ever been made to pay back the training bond? (is that the correct term?)
    Go out, do stuff

    Comment


    • #3
      In my original class of 30 a grand total of 12 successfully completed their cadetship, the class was made up of several companies and of all the guys that dropped out I never heard of anyone having to pay anything back. The company may do a bit of posturing but in order to recover the money they would have to take you to court and it really isn't worth the effort to try and recover it, in addition to that your training contract isn't worth the paper its printed on.

      Whilst on the subject the same can be said regarding the contractual 2 years as an officer once qualified, they cant force you to do it nor can they recover the money (see above). A word of caution though, if you do leave the company immediately after qualifying you may be effectively burning your bridges and might not be able to return in the future, it is always best (if possible) to leave on good terms as you never know what is around the corner.

      On a slightly different note it irks me when I read the MN propaganda of "see the world", this is an unrealistic expectation and may go some way to explain the high drop out rates. When a vessel reaches port it is now engaged in the business of that vessel i.e. cargo handling, as a cadet you may get off to go exploring however you may not. When you become a qualified officer your chance of getting ashore reduces with the sheer volume of work you now have to do when the vessel gets alongside - cargo watch, passage planning etc. Its not all doom and gloom however and there are sometimes opportunities when the vessel is at anchor or delays in port, however, I think it is important to stress that you should be coming into this career with your eyes open.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you had a ambitions to join the RN, why didn't you look at joining the RFA?
        'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans'

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by IFHP View Post

          On a slightly different note it irks me when I read the MN propaganda of "see the world", this is an unrealistic expectation and may go some way to explain the high drop out rates. When a vessel reaches port it is now engaged in the business of that vessel i.e. cargo handling, as a cadet you may get off to go exploring however you may not. When you become a qualified officer your chance of getting ashore reduces with the sheer volume of work you now have to do when the vessel gets alongside - cargo watch, passage planning etc. Its not all doom and gloom however and there are sometimes opportunities when the vessel is at anchor or delays in port, however, I think it is important to stress that you should be coming into this career with your eyes open.
          On our first trip, a few of the cadets decided they wanted to have a pic along side in every port, however they realised that every single picture looked the same and ended up having to make signs and hold them up with the name of the port on them........... Moral of the story, every container port/oil terminal looks the same, same cargoes go on and off the boat and it's just another day at work Or even worst, you could end up on a standby boat, floating around a rig in the north sea for 5 weeks at a time. Truth be told matey.... if your already considering how easy it is to quit before you've started, it doesn't sound like you really want to do this job, and the interview process for the merchant navy isn't too hard, but the three years of hard work and training of a cadetship is much tougher than the long application process of the RN

          Comment


          • #6
            Cheers for all the helpful replies everyone!

            Just to clarify, I have done the entire RN recruitment process, unfortunately I fell at the last hurdle at the AIB(final interview). I got told this was because of the fact I was 17, the average RN Officer Cadet is 25+(and more mature), and that I should return in 12 months(this October) for a 'strong pass'. I did think about the RFA, but I ccouldn'trun the RN and the RFA applications at the same time, the application process is the same length and if anything is more competitive.
            Probably the biggest thing thats bugging me is the uncertainty, I would rather find out who my is sponsor now and know what to expect, than having no idea who I i am going to be working for or what ship type I could be on for the next 3 years. I don't really mind that I won't be on a cruise ship, or that I could be in the north sea on psv's/standby, it would just be far more reassuring to know whats going on, and if I really dont like it, as unlikely as it will be, I just don't want to effectively be trapped doing something for 3 years.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Martyboy View Post
              On our first trip, a few of the cadets decided they wanted to have a pic along side in every port, however they realised that every single picture looked the same and ended up having to make signs and hold them up with the name of the port on them........... Moral of the story, every container port/oil terminal looks the same, same cargoes go on and off the boat and it's just another day at work Or even worst, you could end up on a standby boat, floating around a rig in the north sea for 5 weeks at a time. Truth be told matey.... if your already considering how easy it is to quit before you've started, it doesn't sound like you really want to do this job, and the interview process for the merchant navy isn't too hard, but the three years of hard work and training of a cadetship is much tougher than the long application process of the RN
              I thought similar things myself about the long process, but reading the post again it made me think just nervous embarking on something new and unfamiliar can make people look back and doubt their decision.
              For some going to a place where you don't know anyone can be daunting if you haven't been in that position before.
              I have no idea how old the OP is but I know a fair few teenagers, and choosing to do something because the process is simpler is not that uncommon!
              The problem with the career choice is that its not a common one people discuss at school or colleges and unless you have family or friends in the business you don't hear much about it.
              School careers people get the obvious one in RF RN Army very professional and they have lots of glossy things to show off.
              Patriotic bit, flashy uniforms, bit of Bear Grylls stuff for the adventurous ones. A few guns and visit nice places great gym equipment, pensions blah blah. Pay your expenses to interview have a trip in helicopter aircraft ship for a few days.
              MN ? A website, this forum, and a sea ambassador might pop up if they are lucky!
              How much real info is out there for the MN, the colleges have their open days. Of its quiet you may get to speak to someone but they can be very busy with cadets trying to sell themselves to a company. Some of course never go to an open day perhaps cost maybe a problem for them.
              You can phone training companies, but a lot of individual shipping companies have very little on their websites, most refer to a training company and some of the big ones have websites with no contact numbers, and few pages of text. Interview over phones etc
              How many companies out there invite potential cadets to see them go on a ship and give people the chance to have a real conversation about the career and what the good and bad sides to it are?
              How many potential cadets out there have spoken to a cadet in training at length?
              So maybe when we see posts like this there may be other reasons as a few in a similar vein do happen around the start of college courses and next we will have the I'm off to sea next week ones!
              In short there is scant info out there to inform and reassure new cadets, so a few wobble I don't blame them its a big step, and far bigger than those that just go off to uni for whom there are massive amounts of support and fussing parents who have been there themselves so they can help, this career how many did you know?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                Cheers for all the helpful replies everyone!

                Just to clarify, I have done the entire RN recruitment process, unfortunately I fell at the last hurdle at the AIB(final interview). I got told this was because of the fact I was 17, the average RN Officer Cadet is 25+(and more mature), and that I should return in 12 months(this October) for a 'strong pass'. I did think about the RFA, but I ccouldn'trun the RN and the RFA applications at the same time, the application process is the same length and if anything is more competitive.
                Probably the biggest thing thats bugging me is the uncertainty, I would rather find out who my is sponsor now and know what to expect, than having no idea who I i am going to be working for or what ship type I could be on for the next 3 years. I don't really mind that I won't be on a cruise ship, or that I could be in the north sea on psv's/standby, it would just be far more reassuring to know whats going on, and if I really dont like it, as unlikely as it will be, I just don't want to effectively be trapped doing something for 3 years.
                I can quite understand why you would want to know and find it rather peculiar they do this, I suspect its because some companies are not seen as being the best to train with or popular, however whenever this crops up there seems to be some who love a company and others or hated the same one. I presume they have their reasons. For some RN job roles they want applicants to be 17 and max of 24 its a new requirement and prefer a level applicants as they highlight how much you can do a degree alongside but this is fleet air arm pilots, though they still go through the whole application process and a few extras before the AIB looked at it last night as my youngest is thinking of applying so we were discussing should he do a degree first or not.
                Good luck anyway I hope you get a company that you feel happy with, it's that pull out and risk the AIB in October. It really depends on where your heart lies. You could of course do your cadet ship and apply to the RFA once qualified or RN ? RFA were recruiting qualified officers recently perhaps Steve will pop up he's RFA I think and give you his input.

                Comment


                • #9
                  That's a fair shout, I always thought it was a crazy old system clyde have of not telling you who your company is until 6-7 months in, it's one of the reasons I wouldn't work with them

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The RFA are indeed recruiting qualified officers. Between you and me, it's less competitive to get in the RFA on the cadetship than it is to join the RN so you'd be in with a very good about - we had 4 17 year olds in my intake of 19 in September and most were under the age of 24. Incidentally, I met 3 18 year old RN officer cadets at Dartmouth. It seems a shame to give up on your dream for the sake of delaying things for a while. If you already know you don't want this cadetship then walk away now and work out what it is you actually want to do.

                    It took me 7 months from applying to starting my cadetship with the RFA, I don't think that's too bad. If you apply NOW you could be starting at Dartmouth in September. The RFA pays more than most companies and sounds like it would be a better company for you to train with. OR.... Risk it for a biscuit and try again for the RN in October.
                    'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans'

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                      Cheers for all the helpful replies everyone!

                      Just to clarify, I have done the entire RN recruitment process, unfortunately I fell at the last hurdle at the AIB(final interview). I got told this was because of the fact I was 17, the average RN Officer Cadet is 25+(and more mature), and that I should return in 12 months(this October) for a 'strong pass'. I did think about the RFA, but I ccouldn'trun the RN and the RFA applications at the same time, the application process is the same length and if anything is more competitive.
                      Probably the biggest thing thats bugging me is the uncertainty, I would rather find out who my is sponsor now and know what to expect, than having no idea who I i am going to be working for or what ship type I could be on for the next 3 years. I don't really mind that I won't be on a cruise ship, or that I could be in the north sea on psv's/standby, it would just be far more reassuring to know whats going on, and if I really dont like it, as unlikely as it will be, I just don't want to effectively be trapped doing something for 3 years.
                      The sponsor thing is quite harsh, it plays such a big part of your cadetship.

                      I would say though, you will be working at sea but they are two very different worlds, which I'm sure you get already.

                      One is a world of strict uniforms, orders, military live, large crews, you get paid to exercise, everything's looked after for you (as in get sick on an MN vessel, you think we've got a dedicated medic onboard?)

                      The other is far more more relaxed, might be uniforms but in my experience never seen one at sea yet, everyone has a rank but we'll have a coffee and socialise. None of my crew are first language english speaking, many of them don't even want to be there if truth be told. On the upside you get far more responsibility at a lower rank, a varied role, expect to be the ship's safety officer, navigator, radio operator, Captain's secreatry, maintenance manager, librarian, paramedic and whatever else! The money is better in the long term. You're training might be great or it might be terrible. Thing I'm getting at is... if you've got your heart set on the military life, this it ain't.

                      Saying that though, if you're concerned with sponsoring company, why not approach companies directly?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by laura View Post
                        you get far more responsibility at a lower rank,
                        I have to disagree with that bit. The 'captain' of an RN ship can be a 2.5 ring lieutenant-commander with all sorts of responsibilities beyond those of the master of a merchant vessel.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've spoke to guys in the RN who I thought would look down us on MN folk, but have actually said they respect us because when we are on the bridge alone we are doing the same job of a few people on an RN bridge. 2 and a half rings captains yea, but I don't think a Subby would be left to run the bridge on his own :P I know functions are different but meh

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Apples and oranges, they couldn't do what we do and we couldn't do what they do.
                            Go out, do stuff

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Steve View Post
                              I have to disagree with that bit. The 'captain' of an RN ship can be a 2.5 ring lieutenant-commander with all sorts of responsibilities beyond those of the master of a merchant vessel.
                              I would say that was a bit unfair to my old man and the vessel I'm sailing on, when I think of what we do, the environment we work in and the hundreds of millions of pounds of equipment we operate and install. I was however referring to a junior OOW role as suggested by the duties and what a typical mate can find themselves doing on qualifying. I never intended to say that the MN was or is somehow a higher order than the RN. I have respect for what they do and think it is pointless to compare the two.

                              Both have their uses, but they are very different careers and to have your heart set on one, then opt for the other is something I think is worth considering.

                              I can see this descending into a 'but he said it first, sir' discussion... my point was not to start a how high can you p**s competition but to highlight some of the differences between two very different careers for someone who is contemplating between the two. That was all, please don't misunderstand my intent Steve, it was purely innocent!

                              As Clanky says apples and oranges, I'm going to leave it at that.

                              Comment

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