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Restarting Cadetship With Another Company?

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  • Restarting Cadetship With Another Company?

    Essentially, my company have not been supportive at all really with my cadetship, especially during my sea phase where I was essentially ignored by all officers unless they wanted me to do something for them (passenger events etc) I spent my first four months doing the same tasks over and over for my designated officer who refused to sign anything as proficient as it was my first ship, as a result I got a disciplinary from my company for not doing well enough even though I tried extremely hard to get things signed off, but were not permitted on the bridge unless I had been given a specific job (deck cadet, so as you can imagine this hasnt exactly helped). With my poor progress in phase 3 I have been considering if I could apply for another company and possibly be an ETO instead (another area I was interested in when initially applying). Has anyone done this before or been in a similar situation? Any advice would be welcome.

  • #2
    If you want to go with someone else, you will need to resign your current training contract (be aware of any potential charges) and reapply to other companies. If you'd rather be an ETO than a deckie, decide now...

    Having said that,

    A first trip deck cadet has no real place on the bridge. I'm not saying they aren't allowed up there, but you have a lot to learn out on deck, bridge time comes later.

    Repetitive tasks? Depends what it is. I spent my entire first trip on maintenance, a lot of which was chipping. Yes, dull and repetitive at times, but a foundational requirement for my training.

    If i recall the new FD portfolio things correctly, proficient is the second column? i.e. that task is entirely signed off? Again, not entirely surprising that as a first tripper he was reluctant to sign somethings off, but of course, he has let you down as there are some tasks which can be completed on your first trip.

    My advice would be stick it out. The company office are generally going to ignore what cadets say (sorry!) when it comes to the ship staff, because for every one legitimate issue they hear plenty of I miss my mummy sob stories. It is hard when they aren't supportive, no two ways about it, but unless you end up with the exact same ships staff next trip, you should almost certainly have a more positive experience.

    Are there other cadets in your company? Are their experiences the same?


    • #3
      The disciplinary seems a bit harsh. I also had trouble getting signatures on my first trip (20% signed off on a 4 month cruise ship trip) but nothing bad came off it once I had explained the reasons to them.
      Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers


      • #4
        I am going to disagree with Condeh on a few things here:

        If your company has already received SMART funding for you then future companies will not be able to - therefore you are of no interest to them. I do not think you will get a cadetship anywhere else.

        Secondly I disagree with his comment about cadets not having a place on the bridge for their first trip. If you all had to get 24 months seatime, like I did when I was a sprog, then I would agree with that statement. Not anymore. 12 month's seatime in total is little enough to prepare you for watchkeeping as it is. Your day should be a split of daywork and watchkeeping in your first sea phase. Engineer cadets are not sent off chipping and painting on their first sea phase. They shadow engineers to learn their job. Deckies should be the same - shadow all parts of the job.

        I disagree with chipping and painting being a foundation and a requirement for training. Training means teaching people to do jobs. Personally if it takes you more than a couple of days to understand chipping and painting thewn you should not be trying to be an officer. If you are still using the handle of a chipping hammer to hit the deck after na hour go and get a job in Mucky D's or Tesco. Cleaning out a bilge that is so smelly you keep throwing up is a good lesson for when you are an officer and know how bad it is and how it makes the crew feel. That way you can sympathise with them and make it a "job and knock" job. There is just tooo much to learn to spend weeks or even months doing tasks that are repetitive and teach you nothing. You are there to LEARN.

        Some tasks in the TRB have boxes for signing to show proficiency as well as progress. It is wrong for the Officer to do that to you. However, ask yourself a question. "Did I do anything to cause the situation?" If your attitude, or behaviour did anything to contribute then you need to rethink the problems you helped to cause and think about how to prevent them happening again in the future. Sometimes you just do not get on well with a particular person. Learn from it, learn how to handle it better and move on. I wrote about an experience of mine here: I am not having a go, but of course there are three sides to the story - yours, theirs and somewhere in between is the truth.

        If you have an issue on as ship bring it up early. Go to your training officer on board, don't moan, do not give it max on the sob story, do get his/her advice and help. If you get nowhere then do sent a message to the shoreside training officer asking for advice. Don't leave it until you are stood in front of them with an empty TRB and a more serious bollocking.

        Poor progress in phase 3 is all college based and therefore nothing to do with ships crew. You cannot apply the same reasoning, so what are your reasons for your poor progress in phase 3? Are you struggling with the studies or the choice of career? Sorry, but this will seem harsh - knuckle down and get the work done or you will find you will not make it through your exams and the rest of your cadetship. I don't care if you are Deck, Engineer or ETO - they all need lots of work, commitment and effort. Changing to ETO - even if you could - will not solve anything.

        Sorry if this seems harsh. Nothing personal!

        "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
        "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

        "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.


        • #5
          Perhaps I should clarify, chipping of course is not foundational, what I really meant was being out with the deck crew and doing/learning their 'repetitive' jobs is foundational.

          I probably reacted a bit too strongly to what seemed like a 'deckies only work on the bridge' mindset. Apologies all round.

          Sent from my XT1032 using Tapatalk


          • #6
            I agree with Condeh that first trip cadets come away to sea with their heads filled of navigation and colregs and altering course, and when asked to do some maintenece, count twist locks, greasing etc.... They get a bit arsey. TBH I still chip and paint some things as a 3rd mate

            Everyone has a bad trip and sails with a bellend, its part of merchant navy life, and if it's your first trip then it may be hard for you to want to go back to sea..... I would at least stick out a second trip... if you still don't like it then you've got some good experience on a cruise ship traveling and using the facilities onboard and i've heard something about some dancers maybe?


            • #7
              To be fair, its not their fault, its probably what they have been told, you don't see many promo pics of people with grease guns in their hands! I remember my first trip being something of a surprise, although I was lucky enough to have had a family member at sea who had softened the blow for me a touch!

              And as for repetitive, is there anything more repetitive than a deep sea bridge watch?

              Anyway, back on topic. As hatchorder said, if you have issues bring them up as quickly and politely as possible. I appreciate it is very daunting as a first tripper to try and put your foot down, but you've got a bit of time under your belt and more importantly you only get one shot at your training before the company runs out of patience, so don't let a little bit of worry and embarrassment get in the way of what you need to pass!

              Finally, I get a wee bit of an impression that perhaps you are simply unhappy with the career choice you have made. Give it some serious thought, being at sea is challenging enough, it is close to unbearable if you don't want to be there!

              Sent from my XT1032 using Tapatalk


              • #8
                I do remember that Clyde gave me a 'target sheet' that showed when certain tasks etc should reach different stages however it was mostly nonsense and wasn't even finished, however tasks that I thought were reasonably straight forward and would get signed off easily didn't happen to phase 4 it wasn't anyones fault it just didn't come up sooner.

                That's said lots of ships staff see the two boxes and believe that its a progression you must get the first one then the second and as such will only sign progressing off, (unless they have changed it you only need proficient ) I worked on the marker that if the officers I had done something with were leaving or I was then if I had done anything towards it I pushed them to sign progressing (basically there is no marker to how progressed you are) but then it acts so the next knows you have at least started it and when explained as I need you to sign this so the next guy knows we have done something most are happy to. for things that you have started write reports/ gather information and present these to them.

                I wouldn't say that changing to ETO would be different its still a push to get things signed and certainly depending on what you are finding hard in phase 3 the math for ETO's isn't a walk in the park
                you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky


                • #9
                  If your in situation where an officer refuses to sign stuff off asking what you can do to demonstrate you are proficient. Then do it and ask again.

                  Don't quit second chance cadets hips are pretty rare.


                  • #10
                    Can anyone help me?
                    I was training as a engineering cadet, for personnel reasons I left the course after receiving my HNC as I thought it was the best thing for me at the time with a lot of things going on. I have since been working as a maintenance engineer and have been thinking about finishing my cadetship. Does anyone know if this would be possible as i only had some sea time and the final exams left to do ?


                    • #11
                      As far as I'm aware, as soon as you "leave" the cadetship, you cannot restart where you left off as the funding used is tied to the individual for life.

                      You might be able to do it with some ferry companies as a motorman apprentice, and then work your way up to being an Engineering Officer via the experienced seafarer route. MSN 1857 goes into detail about it.

                      The only other option I can think of is the RFA cadetship, as their funding is from the MoD, and you may qualify for academic exemptions if you have already done the HNC. But you'd need to convince them you wouldn't drop out again, and to take the risk with you (in their eyes). I don't know how successful this has been before but could be worth a shot.

                      Best of luck.


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