Able Seafarer

Able Seafarer

On an able seafarer apprenticeship course, you’ll work as part of the navigation department on ships and other vessels.

A proficient seafarer works on deck aboard ships and boats, acting as the watchkeeper for the crew. Therefore, you will spend a significant amount of time at sea throughout your apprenticeship, guaranteeing the safety and security of the vessel, cargo, and crew, as well as acquiring several practical seafarer skills such as ropework anchoring and mooring chores and operations.

You’ll be working a 24-hour shift cycle, so early mornings and late nights are possible, and you’ll most likely be working with other seafarers from all over the world. Adhering to safe and environmentally acceptable operating practices and international laws without endangering yourself, others, or the marine environment, will be critical to your job. While at work, you will also be in charge of a range of security tasks.

What you’ll learn

On an able seafarer apprenticeship course, you’ll learn to:

  • Dock the vessel, anchor it, moor/unmoor it.
  • Carry out your duties (i.e. stand a watch).
  • Safeguard cargo on a ship and during inclement weather.
  • Conduct deck and lodging patrols.
  • Maintain a vessel’s weather and watertight integrity.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • Depending on the employer, but likely GCSEs or equivalent qualifications or relevant experience.
  • Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level before taking the end-point assessment.

Assessment methods

The End Point Assessment consists of four distinct assessment methods: 

  • Practical tasks
  • Practical demonstration 
  • Oral questioning 
  • Short written tests

Duration and level

  • Duration: 18 months
  • Level: 2 – Intermediate Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship standard

More information about the Level 2 Able Seafarer Apprenticeship standard can be found here.

Apprenticeship end point assessment

For more information about the End Point Assessment Process, please read the Institute of Apprenticeships’ information page.

Updated on October 2, 2022

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