Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Clyde Marine Experience

Collapse
X
  •  
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Clyde Marine Experience

    Hello all,

    I am currently in quite a situation, I returned home from my first sea phase at the beginning of June, just over 2 months ago now.

    Due to a very poor experience which I had while I was away I decided to look for other opportunities while home, after applying and interviewing for a position I luckily got offered the job, which i have been working for the past few weeks now, the job itself is a slightly better paid than the job I left over a year ago now in order to take up my offer of sponsorship so I feel quite lucky to have found a good job so quick.

    But what I am struggling with is how exactly to inform the Training Organisation I have no intention of returning to college, I have often found them unhelpful at best and downright awful and insensitive at worst, I don't know whether to contact them directly or to speak to nautilus beforehand, whom I am a member.

    I am not taking this decision lightly as last year I decided to give up my car and various other creature comforts in order to simply afford to live on the cadetship, and had to rely on homers for any real spending money from month to month, though at that particular time I seen the potential rewards as more than worth a few years of austerity, as such I have no regrets.

    My experience at sea was, well downright awful, out of a Engineering crew of 3 officers and 4 motormen/fitter only the 1st Engineer spoke any english, which as you can imagine caused issues when attempting to understudy and learn from them, also by "spoke any English" I am only referring to only his ability, he chose not to speak english when it simply was not required, e.g, communicating with bridge, bunkering, superintendents etc.

    This meant that my learning experience was solely from observing and then using the manuals and documents to learn about what I had just observed, though to be perfectly honest this was not fully unexpected and I simply made the most of it, already being a qualified engineer probably made this a little easier.

    What I found difficult was the sheer isolation, there was days, many many of them, where id go down to the engine room, and throughout the whole day nobody would speak to me, interact with me, acknowledge me, ask me for assistance, give me jobs, not even the supposed sh*t jobs, I was literally idling the whole time, when i asked for jobs, offered my assistance and other ways of basically saying "let me do something" I was usually totally ignored, as if i was a ghost, other times i would be told that they will give me jobs in time, time that never ever came.

    I honestly could have died in my cabin and nobody other than the two deck cadets would have noticed, thats another thing, when i joined the ship after a brief introduction to the 3rd officer nobody came and got me for another 2 days, eventually i had to speak to the captain as i genuinely felt like nothing was forthcoming, who sent me to the engine room, where i was then sent back to the cabin without allowing me to explain who i was or introduce myself, before speaking to the captain again who had to escort me down to the engine room and explain (in russian) who i was.

    I found this very frustrating and this alone made me resent my decision to take the offer of the cadetship, at that time anyway, I had been through my training a few years earlier and I was starting to think that i had made a terrible decision, though i must say the irony of the "The working language on this vessel is - English" stickers everywhere kept my spirits high.

    I would like to add though, that despite having a awful sea phase, i dont regret it looking back now, regardless of the experience in the engine room, i seen things that i probably will never see again, amazing places, scary storms, learned the meaning of awful awful food (makes you appreciate the mrs's cooking) a giant green turtle, a nimitz class. so if anyone is reading my experience and thinking twice, id like to encourage anyone with this opportunity to take it, an opportunity to see some of the things out there cannot be passed up, especially while still young.

    My experiences of Clyde Marine on the other hand, comes with no positives, throughout my college time i found them awfully unhelpful and just generally not logical, for example I currently have a HND in Engineering Systems, 17th Edition and a SVQ Level 4 in Production Engineering as well as 5 A pass Higher grades, copies of the certificates of each was provided to them at my interview, I applied for PD and was interviewed for such, When I got my joining instructions they were for the HNC class, when i enquired about this I was informed that I must have Standard Grade Mathematics at level 1 to be considered for PD, i informed them that i did not sit Standard Grade Mathematics, instead doing Intermediate 1 at that stage, they told me this was not accepted, to which i countered by enquiring why my Higher - A in Maths cannot be counted, which she told me they needed a standard grade, despite being 3 levels higher than what they required going by official SCQF levels.

    I accepted this as simply an inconvenience as the main thing for me was the COC, so then came the start date at college, and after a day or two i got a phone call from them, threatening me with expulsion from my course unless i move into the halls, despite filling out their little disclaimer about a month previous allowing me to stay in my own place, eventually i actually had to provide proof to them that i would be unable to afford both the shockingly priced halls and my mortgage which they reluctantly accepted and allowed me to stay in my own place.

    Without going through each little thing one by one i will say that the general consensus from the class was that their communication was terrible, the blame somehow always lay with the class.

    The thing which set in stone my feelings of them though was events while on ship, towards the end of my time on the ship i was informed of the passing of a immediate family member, to which i attempted to just power on through as i couldn't have done anything to change the past, however less than a fortnight later tragically there was another passing in my family, as you could maybe imagine this on top of the bad experience onboard i was having this just deflated me.

    I thought long and hard about it and eventually called clyde marine and informed them of what had happened and requested to be sent home under the circumstances, to which i was treated to this magnificent comment, when informed of the passings, the girl on the phone advised "it would have been good if it had happened later on in the month because you have only been onboard 2 and a half months" I simply just hung the phone up, what can you really say to that?

    Two days later i was informed via email that i could indeed be sent home, however i would have to pay for my flights to join my next ship, given the circumstances i did not really care, however on reflection, how would that possibly be fair considering to get my full sea time i would require yet another sea phase anyway?

    Then... nothing, i did not hear a thing and eventually spoke with the captain who had to arrange himself at the last minute for the company to send me home, to this day i haven't heard a single thing from them, nothing.

    From my experience I dont even know if i feel like informing them at all, just letting them do what they do, which is usually nothing, but one thing i have noticed is they are not slow when it comes to money. so after sharing my experiences i would still like to know how anyone thinks i should confront them about this?

    Also can i add for any qualified engineers thinking of using this as a stepping stone to something more lucrative, (and i know there is a few others) just keep in mind the old adage, the grass isnt always greener...

    Cheers

  • #2
    Wow......... just... mate, so, so sorry to hear all this I can totally understand your reasons for leaving. Sadly I fear more and more people are finding life at sea like this, not just as cadets either, but at least when you're qualified you get a smidge of respect for having a ticket.

    Are you a union member? There are many folks here who are (understandably) cynical about the benefits of union membership, but IMHO, it'd be worth seeing what their take on this is.

    Be aware that CMT read these boards. You've posted anonymously but have talked about very specific situations which could lead you to be identified. Frankly though, the folk at CMT should be ashamed at the way your situation has been dealt with *disclaimer* This is only the OP's side of the story, I cannot attest to the veracity of it, this may be a skewed version of events. Then again, it may not.

    Size4riggerboots

    Moderator
    Blog tWitterings Flickr Tumblr Faceache

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by size4riggerboots View Post
      Are you a union member? There are many folks here who are (understandably) cynical about the benefits of union membership, but IMHO, it'd be worth seeing what their take on this is.
      Unless they truly believe that you will win, they won't bother themselves....

      Just to start of, my deepest condolences for your losses. It's not easy losing someone, particularly when you're away from home. I've had a good read through what you've said so far and I do have some questions/comments (apologies if I sound a bit blunt on occasion): -

      1) How immediate was the family member? Normally, most companies define immediate as parent, sibling, spouse and children. If it was one of these, then depending on what your SMS says you should not be having to pay flight costs as it is covered by most companies SMS's. You signed the ship's articles, therefore the SMS applies to you regardless of what CMT say. Also, what flag was the ship? I've got to admit, if the comment about "leaving it a month" is true, then I would have been filing formal complaints as that is insensitive to say the very least.

      2) The qualification/course stuff, not really their doing, normally it comes from college.

      3) Nautilus, it's difficult. Personally I wouldn't bother as like I said above, unless they think you can win then they won't bother helping you. Personally, I would find out how the official complaints process at CMT works and lodge a formal complaint to them, maybe even copy in your sponsor, detailing all the grievances. There will be a bit about their responsibilities towards you within your training agreement, have a read through that.

      As S4 said, they do read these forums and from the information you've provided they may be able to identify who you are. If you want to go into further detail, then feel free to PM me.
      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


      • #4
        Well what can you say to that - you really do have my sympathies and that is an appalling way to be treated. There are a few issues in there, taking your training first - this is sadly the way of the tonnage tax scheme and CMT really are a bums on seats organisation. I was a CMT cadet but this was before tonnage tax, you went on ships and there was a always a few British/Irish/Australian/South African/American officers so was easy to communicate. I know I am in the minority here and the mantra of people on this forum tends to be take whatever you get offered with regard to sponsorship, however, for the reason above I would avoid CMT if possible. I have been in the industry over 17 years and if I were to be going through my cadetship now with a tonnage tax company like the one described above, I would never have made it. That doesn't say anything about me as I am sitting here with a Class 1 Certificate of Competency and my command, that says everything about the standard of training and pastoral care cadets are receiving these days.


        Now the other issue pastoral care. When I was with CMT the guys that dealt with the cadets had spent considerable time at sea, when I say that I don't mean completed a cadetship and never done a trip afterwards. They understood what exactly it felt like if something like that happened above and really would do their upmost to get you through your cadetship and assist with any problems. You would assume that employing someone as a training officer who has very recently completed their training would actually be beneficial as they would understand the issues faced by cadets, sadly that does not appear to be the case. I am unsure if it is lack of empathy or people can go a little bit power mad in their new position, something along the lines of a school prefect either way it should change.

        I really hope everything works out for and I am sure that it will - good luck.

        Comment


        • #5
          *musings* I wonder if we should set up our own cadet training business?
          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


          • #6
            Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
            *musings* I wonder if we should set up our own cadet training business?
            I hope that wasn't a joke. Folk around here seem to actually care for cadets, and not just the SMarT money. Having those people run a training provider could potentially result in not only more seafarers, but provide a better experience for all involved (both seafarer, ship owner and OFC). Heck, I'd be willing to throw money at people just to make it happen!

            To the OP - I'm so, so sorry to hear about your looses, and the situation CMT appear to have put you in. As others have said, get hold of a copy of the official complaints procedure, and make sure you follow it as far as is humanly possible.
            Pointy bit is the front, blunt bit is the back... Simples!

            Will work for money/sea time.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sorry to add to the list of things but a couple of cadets i know quit and were then given a bill for their training and tuition costs as per the contract/sponsorship agreement they signed.

              I echo everyone else's sympathies and can't imagine how isolating and frustrated you must have felt.

              Now that you've decideded a way forward i personally would be booking a sit down with my training officer and explaining how this has been an unacceptable training experience and their lacking duty of care.
              I'd want it all put behind me asap.
              Good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                My condolences on your recent family losses.
                From what you have shared with us all it seems to have been a terrible experience. I certainly hope that you do make a complaint, if you are a union member I would contact them, whilst it may not change anything at least they would be aware and if this sort of thing is common perhaps they may be more inclined to do something about it. Perhaps the union can offer you some guidance and then write in detail what happened, get the union to look it over and send it.
                If no one says anything, nothing will change.
                I hope your future plans work out well for you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the kind words and replies guys,

                  First of all about clyde reading these boards, I did give that a thought before I wrote my message, I was careful to make sure that anything I spoke about could either be proven by email/correspondence or the actual thing could be collaborated with the other cadets onboard, with regard to them finding out that I don't intend on returning, I really wouldn't lose any sleep if they did.

                  There really isn't anything they can do to me until I dont show at college, though I would prefer to have it sorted by then.

                  I would prefer it to be swift and clinical, though from watching a lad go through it mid course I wouldn't be surprised if it was more of a messy divorce than a clinical separation.

                  I do know that they do in some/most cases attempt to recover the cost of your training, or at least a nominal amount so they don't make a loss on you, again I wont lose any sleep over this if this was the case, though i've still to meet anyone who wouldn't prefer to save themselves a few quid, hence why I was considering speaking to nautilus. As i'm expecting this anyway I don't really have anything to lose.

                  The union rep who came into the college to round us all up suggested that they would be able to get CMT to waiver this reimbursement in the event any of us left the course with "sufficient" reasons. There isn't really anything to lose by giving them a call I suppose.

                  I have been considering writing everything up in a detailed letter and pursewing a potential complaint against them, but the shipboard experience can't really be attributed to them directly, they cant help it everything else is more of just bumbling incompetence, and as I said above, I would prefer this to be swift and easy, a complaint at the same time as going out the door would not be pretty.

                  With regards to the flights, The family member who passed first comes under their definition of "immediate" family, though not relating to my situation I find it ridiculous that they try to identify your immediate family for you, Even in the Military they allow you to identify your own "immediate" family, each cadet they have will have a different home situation.

                  I really do appreciate everyones thoughts on the matter.

                  Cheers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just out of interest what was the experience of the 2 deck cadets you mentioned? You seemed to be isolated in the engine room, im just wondering how to deck cadets felt.
                    2/O Tankers

                    Watch out for big green boxes...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I say cry me a river.... Being a cadet isn't supposed to be easy. If it was, then everyone would be earning 50 grand to drink coffee for 6 months of the year. It's your career, not Clydes!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Someone approved this ^ post? I know everyone is entitled to their opinion and all, but the forum rules do call for politeness and respect...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                          I say cry me a river.... Being a cadet isn't supposed to be easy. If it was, then everyone would be earning 50 grand to drink coffee for 6 months of the year. It's your career, not Clydes!
                          Do one sad sack....

                          This industry is not for everyone, it obviously wasn't for the OP therefore they want to leave. Comments likes that help no one (and I also notice that you've done it anon, why not log in and own your opinion?)
                          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


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                            I say cry me a river.... Being a cadet isn't supposed to be easy. If it was, then everyone would be earning 50 grand to drink coffee for 6 months of the year. It's your career, not Clydes!
                            "Thou shalt not feed the trolls".

                            To the OP - Have you tried seeking legal advise? If Clyde have treated you like this, they might be in breach of contract.. And as such, you might be able to have a clean break, without fear of financial retribution.
                            Pointy bit is the front, blunt bit is the back... Simples!

                            Will work for money/sea time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Can "thou shall out the trolls" be added to the rules?

                              Comment

                              Previously entered content was automatically saved. Restore or Discard.
                              Auto-Saved
                              x
                              Insert: Thumbnail Small Medium Large Fullsize Remove  
                              x
                              or Allowed Filetypes: jpg, jpeg, png, gif, webp
                              x
                              x
                              Working...
                              X