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Future of British Seafarers

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  • Future of British Seafarers

    Hi Guys/Gals

    Just recently qualified PD Marine Eng and obtained my CoC but wondering with state of the current job market if i will be able to make a career for myself in the Merchant Navy. I have been applying to recruiters and checking websites daily for anything that i could apply to but there seems to be literally nothing. I have had feedback from exxon mobil and Ineos but that's more working in land and related to what i done before. Just wondering if any other junior Officers are experiencing the same. I also applied for the additional 4th engineer at BP who replied back saying i met the requirement then subsequently the next day e-mailed me back to say upon further inspection i didn't meet the requirements for an interview... anyway be good to hear back from anybody struggling as well. I am lucky in that i am in a reasonably well paid job just now but surely things can't get any worse...

  • #2
    If you can get a job with an oil major ashore I would take it. The when they advertise for seafarers you'd surely have a leg up on the others applying. If they know you are a good employee I'd imagine they'd take you over some unknown quantity.


    • #3
      I get what you are saying mate but the job is in no way shipping related other than it invoves hydrocarbon processing and nuclear. Feel it would be a waste of 3 years cadetship to just go back into the role i left to get a career at sea. I think its tough for most folk who are just qualified at the moment to be fair.


      • #4
        Originally posted by barearsealona View Post
        I get what you are saying mate but the job is in no way shipping related other than it invoves hydrocarbon processing and nuclear. Feel it would be a waste of 3 years cadetship to just go back into the role i left to get a career at sea. I think its tough for most folk who are just qualified at the moment to be fair.
        Could be worse mate could do a 3 year cadetship and work in a factory afterwards.


        • #5
          I agree hence the thread. Quite envious of some of the other cadets i sailed with from other countries who are all in work and generally pick and choose different companies. It seems really inconsistent with regards to hiring. From what i have seen having contacts in already within the industry seems to be a sure fire way to get hired. Hope you get something sorted soon mate.


          • #6
            You haven't said how long ago you acquired your CoC... While I get it can be frustrating to wait months, unfortunately, that is the reality and it's not really a new thing... 7 years ago I qualified and spent several months looking - in the end, I got the position thanks to a captain I had sailed with as a final trip cadet giving me the email address of a crew manager who just happened to need someone to temporary cover a 3rd officer position for 2 months... I snatched it up and within weeks of being onboard was asked if I would be interested in coming back as a 2nd officer - and that was my job for the next 2 years

            Basically what I am saying is - while it may not be the case with you - a lot of people coming through seem to be of the impression that they will walk straight into a job at the end... ultimately unless you're taken on by the company that sponsored you it's never really been like that - although I will accept the number of positions available has decreased in some parts of the industry due to economic downturn.

            If you applied to companies before obtaining your CoC - apply to all of them again, ensuring you give the details of your CoC - they will all have simply dumped your application in the trash if it didn't state you already held it.

            Review what you have on your CV, I assume you're also on linkedIn. Ensure you are selling yourself and that your CV lists all certification you currently have. (If you're applying to cruise lines ensure it has a recent formal/smart photo of yourself on it). If you're really stuck and want someone to have a look what you have feel free to send me it.

            Did BP say why you don't meet the requirement for their 4th engineer thing? For instance, do you require to complete tanker fam. course etc.?

            Keep at it, apply everywhere (even if its not a side of the industry you particularly fancy - you never know it might surprise you) and keep checking websites - perseverance will pay off and after you've got a few years experience it's a lot easier to move around - also a lot more reassuring and less stressful to look elsewhere when you're already employed.
            “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.


            • #7
              Alistair thanks, that's pretty sound advice. I have been applying in lou of getting my CoC but received nothing back and to be fair i have only qualified in the past month. I will resend my CV and hope it gets picked up by companies. I understand i'm not special or alone in it being difficult just now getting a start somewhere. The BP thing was strange. I have the Tanker Fam etc but for whatever reason i didn't make it through to even get an interview. I have spoke to other folk who also applied and didn't have any tanker experience etc but still managed to get an interview. Suppose that's just the way the Cookie crumbles and you need to get a bit of luck. Re the contact for cadetship that is pretty much a goner for me i sailed with a Greek company and it was actually the company Superintendant and captain told me there's no chance they take on British cadets when they finish. The Superintendant even burst out laughing when he asked me what i was going to do once i finished my cadetship and i said hopefully work for the company. I am really not that fussed regarding getting a start anywhere be it tanker,cruise,offshore anything really. I am looking for a career and appreciate that i need to start somewhere and something is always better than nothing.

              Re my CV if you don't mind having a skim through it and are not to busy that would be a massive help. I got in touch with my college end of last year and sent it through as they said they would have somebody look at it but haven't got back to me.

              Kind Regards



              • #8
                To reinforce what Alistair said just take a step back and look again at what you are actually doing. I know it can seem hopeless but at the end of the day you have only been applying for 4 weeks. How long did it take you to get a cadetship?! Many of my old university friends took a long time to get jobs in different fields so it isn't so much a shipping industry problem (though it is tough now) as a higher education problem.

                My brother was in a similar position recently. Just qualified and had so many responses saying no it was quite disheartening for him but in the end he got a phone call one morning (from someone who had already said no), an interview 2 days later and on and ship within 10 days of the interview so you cannot say what will happen tomorrow!