Workboat Crewmember

Workboat Crewmember

On a workboat crewmember apprenticeship course, you’ll help serve on the crew of a wide variety of specialist vessels.

As a workboat crewmember, you’ll often be assigned to a variety of specialised vessels, including tugs and multi-purpose workboats, as well as fast pilot boats and crew transfer vessels.

Workboats provide several marine functions, such as offshore wind farm construction and services inside a port or interior waterways, such as surveys and towage. They may also be used as support boats in large salvage operations and wreck removal. These vessels are typically less than 24 metres long and may carry up to five people.

As an apprentice, you will develop the knowledge, skills, and ability to do all basic tasks on board with minimum supervision. These are communications, navigation and vessel handling, berthing, towing operations and mooring laying, personnel transfers, and cargo handling.

What you’ll learn

On a workboat crewmember apprenticeship course, you’ll learn to:

  • Respond to a wide range of emergencies with minimal instruction or help. 
  • Deploy and operate the emergency equipment required for the situation. A few examples are life rafts, man overboard equipment, emergency pumps, and towlines.
  • Maintain and operate life-saving and fire-fighting equipment, offer emergency first aid and, if required, notify the coastguard in the event of a medivac.
  • Use deck cranes to load and unload freight and equipment, including correct load slinging, international signalling protocols, and hazardous commodities stowage.
  • Use winches and other mooring equipment to safely anchor, moor, or unmoor a workboat in isolation.
  • Assist with multi-skilled deck chores such as anchor handling, plough dredging, surveying, towing setup, towline recovery in inclement weather, and personnel and equipment transfer.
  • Maintain the machinery of a workboat, including the primary engines and deck equipment, in excellent operating condition.
  • Maintain a workboat’s weather and watertight integrity and take necessary measures if compromised.
  • Perform emergency repairs and fuel filter changes while on the road.
  • Maintain a safe method of entering and departing a workboat.
  • Prepare worker meals while keeping to strict hygiene standards.
  • Recognise and manage their own and others’ well-being by identifying signs of fatigue.
  • Record relevant and statutory information such as engine and maintenance records, hours of labour, and so on using IT skills such as basic spreadsheet and word processing.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • Pass the MCA’s strict ENG1 medical requirements.

Assessment methods

The End Point Assessment consists of two distinct assessment methods: 

  • Observation
  • Professional Review

Duration and level

  • Duration: 24 months
  • Level: 3 – Advanced Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship standard

More information about the Level 3 Workboat Crewmember 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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