A celebration of maritime expertise in the City

To mark Seafarers Awareness Week, the MNTB held an event to explore the varied roles of seafarers when they come ashore. Here, Fena Boyle, Training and Careers Coordinator blogs about these “hidden” seafarers

All too often we ask the question ‘what have seafarers ever done for us?’ and the responses normally relate to the significant work seafarers do at sea. But how many of us actually stop to consider the importance of seafarers working ashore?

As part of Seafarers Awareness Week, the Merchant Navy Training Board held a special event exposing the ‘Hidden Seafarers’ working in a range of shore side roles. Ten seafarers, who have made the important decision to move ashore, were asked to take part in a speed dating event explaining their career paths to date and highlight the various routes that can be taken to secure these roles. These ‘Hidden Seafarers’ play a vital role in shore side jobs by bringing a wealth of maritime experience and a different approach to working environments to this expansive playing field.

The theme of this year’s Seafarers Awareness Week is ‘Maritime Jobs for Future generations’, ensuring that young people are able to pursue fulfilling careers in the maritime sector. These can be careers for life, as many seafarers come ashore help keep the City, and the maritime sector, ticking over. Seafarers are not normally the ones to shout about the important work they do, and so the term ‘hidden’ describes those working ashore in these varying roles perfectly.

The MNTB is involved in various work to identify the main issues seafarers face in moving ashore, and to develop ‘Careers at Sea and Beyond’ to help seafarers with their career progression and make information more readily available to people. The Hidden Seafarers were asked to give their insight as to what needs to be done to secure the shore side work force of tomorrow. Questions such as ‘why did you choose your current career?’, ‘did the transition from ship to shore run smoothly?’ and ‘was information on moving ashore easily accessible to you?’, were raised, all of which were answered differently by each person. This alone highlights the complexity of the situation and the importance of the work being carried out to help make it easier.

The City employs a large number of seafarers, ensuring that their maritime expertise does not go to waste. To ensure that young people entering the industry, and those already in it, are made aware of the opportunites available to them after leaving the sea we need to shout about the value, experience and diversity seafarers bring to these roles.

No longer should seafarers be hidden. It is time to celebrate the seafarers who are working ashore as lecturers, lawyers, brokers and in many other roles and acknowledge their contributions. There is no better week than Seafarers Awareness Week to do this.

Learn more about Careers at Sea and Beyond

For more information contact:

Fena Boyle

Training and Careers Coordinator

020 7417 2825