Apprenticeship Opportunity: Workboat Crew Member

Posted 6 August 2021

We are looking for an Apprentice Workboat Crew Member to join our experienced and highly motivated team. 

For the right person, this is a fantastic opportunity for a career at sea, building the foundations to potentially become a Yachtmaster in the long term. Formed in 2010 to build a new specialist vessel, B Marshall Marine now operates in a range of industries across the marine sector assisting in diving, ROV and survey operations. This developing marine business has an opportunity for a new member of staff to join and work alongside highly experienced individuals with a view to becoming a key part of the team. 

The role will involve working with 54 Maritime Training in Whitby and the National Workboat Association as part of a 22-month apprenticeship scheme in Maritime studies. The first 5 months will be spent in Whitby, at which point the successful candidate will be required to attend the company premises in Middlesbrough. On-the-job training will be given onboard the company’s vessel and, once competent to do so, the successful candidate will be expected to go to sea in the longer term for extended periods. The salary will be in line with governmental apprenticeship guidelines but will significantly increase in the second year.

Training Provision

Further training over the course of the apprenticeship will cover all of the following:

  • STCW Elementary First Aid
  • STCW Personal Survival Techniques
  • STCW Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
  • STCW Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
  • STCW Proficiency in Designated Security Duties
  • Maritime Skills Diploma – Workboat Operations
  • MCA AEC part 1
  • MCA AEC part 2
  • MCA Vessel Stability
  • Nav. Watch Rating Certificate
  • Efficient Deck Hand Certificate
  • Marine Hydraulic Loader Crane cert
  • Slinger/signallers cert.
  • Personal survival craft & rescue boats
  • Functional Skills ICT
  • Functional Skills Maths/English (where required).

If the right candidate shows a strong aptitude there will be the possibility of further personal development within the company towards the navigational and management side of vessel operations.

The successful candidate will be:

  • Able to commute to the Middlesbrough area
  • Fully PC literate and capable of using Microsoft office to a good standard.
  • Positive in their approach to practical work and be willing to learn new skills.
  • Flexible with regards to the type of work undertaken as the business is always evolving.
  • Able to commute to Whitby during the apprenticeship and then the Middlesbrough area following the apprenticeship.

Apprentice Expectations

Workboat crew members work as part of a small team of typically 2-3 personnel. They can work on a wide variety of specialist vessels ranging from tugs and multi-purpose workboats to fast pilot boats and crew transfer vessels taking personnel out to vessels or installations offshore. Workboats operate in varying marine environments such as the construction of offshore windfarms, providing a range of services within a port or inland waterways, including surveys and towage.

In addition, they may act as support vessels in major salvage operations and wreck removal. These vessels are typically less than 24m in length with accommodation for up to 5 persons. The crewmember must have the knowledge, skills and competence to carry out all the core tasks on board with minimal supervision, including -

  • Communications - including use of VHF and UHF radios, mobile telephone and IT.
  • Navigation & vessel handling – manoeuvre the workboat and check position using bridge equipment.
  • Berthing – bring the workboat alongside and handle mooring ropes to secure the workboat.
  • Towing Operations & Laying Moorings – using winches to handle ropes, wires and chains.
  • Personnel Transfers – ensuring all precautions are taken to allow safe transfer to another object.
  • Cargo handling – assist in slinging of loads, crane operations and securing cargo on board the workboat.

Because small crews are the norm, the crewmember will commonly work on their own during operations when the Master is unable to leave the wheelhouse, and in the event that the Master is incapacitated, they must be able to take control and get the workboat back to a position of safety.

Failure to be able to control an emergency situation could lead to a significant risk to life or to the environment. Since the nature of the work is so varied and fast-changing, workboat companies need to be able to rely on the crew being competent in a wide range of skills, with evidence to support that fact, so they can satisfy clients and maritime regulators at short notice that a workboat and crew are competent to undertake contracted projects.


Training will cover both the underpinning knowledge base and the practical application of the necessary skills to ensure competence and safety on board. To achieve this level of knowledge and skill will require significant periods working on board, in combination with off-the-job training and leave requirements, the completion time is expected to be 18 - 24 months.

Entry requirements and qualifications required

Every apprentice - without exception - will need to pass the MCA’s strict ENG1 medical requirements. This medical examination will find out if you have a health condition that could result in you needing urgent treatment, or potentially put fellow crew or passengers’ lives at risk. This test includes, but is not limited to, severe deafness or difficulty communicating by radio or telephone, eyesight or colour vision that does not meet standards, and conditions that limit mobility and stamina.

  • Educational expectations are that candidates have English, Maths and Science GSCE's at grade C/5 and above, or equivalent qualifications.
  • A good understanding of IT systems and Microsoft based packages would be an advantage.
  • A full, clean driving license is also preferred.

Behavioural Expectations

During emergencies, workboat crew members are expected to follow orders immediately and unquestioningly. In normal working conditions they are required to:

  • Appreciate the need to follow safe working practices.
  • Always try to carry out their duties efficiently and to the best of their ability.
  • Work flexibly and adapt to changes in the role of their vessel.
  • Have a positive attitude to compliance with company rules and procedures.
  • Work as part of a team to encourage others and engender a team spirit.

Be considerate to fellow crewmembers, particularly:

  • Those who need to sleep whilst others are awake.
  • In being punctual when joining the ship, returning from shore leave and reporting for watchkeeping and other duties.
  • In the use of shared facilities.
  • In terms of equality, diversity and respect for other cultures.
  • Be sympathetic to the protection of the marine environment from pollution.
  • High standards of honesty and integrity throughout.

COVID-19 considerations:

When the vessel is operational, testing and isolation periods may be required dependent on client requirements. But as a minimum standard, all employees are expected to follow government guidance and legislative requirements.


This is a Level 3 apprenticeship.

BMM - WBCM apprenticeship - 2021

Starting Salary: £10,000.00 per year

How to Apply

Apply for this role now by following this link to Indeed

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