Career at sea on offer at NESCol

December 8, 2021

North East Scotland College has recently launched its full time course programme starting August 2022. Amongst the varied offer is the sponsored Merchant Navy Cadetship delivered by NESCol’s Scottish Maritime Academy (SMA) based in Peterhead.

Now in its second year the Deck Officer Cadet programme is for anyone who would like to serve as a Deck Officer on seagoing ships of the Merchant Navy. Delivered over 3 years this is an exciting blend of college and sea based training that is proving popular with school leavers and those looking for a change of career.

Linda Hope, Maritime Centre Manager said: “This years’ cohort is a mix of school leavers and students who previously completed the Trainee Deckhand course. All have a passion for the industry and are looking for a career that will literally take them places.

“It’s not necessary to have sea experience to apply – many of our cadets haven’t. Some have connections in the industry, mainly family or friends and a couple are former Sea or Royal Marine cadets. However if you can apply yourself and you are passionate about the industry we want to hear from you!”

Cadet Murray Macpherson is a former Trainee Deckhand student who enrolled on this SCQF Level 5 to gain the practical experience ahead of applying for the cadetship.

He said: “The Trainee Deckhand course has prepared me well for the first 17 weeks of training, I am actually surprised how much of the basics I already know. We’ve also had to learn computing skills – word, excel and access which I wasn’t expecting. I am looking forward to my first sea training phase in the new year.”

The SMA work with a number of shipping companies that sponsor the cadets throughout the course covering fees and a maintenance allowance. This year’s sponsors include Norbulk Shipping, Tidewater, Sentinel Marine and Vroon.

Unlike most NESCol full time courses cadets attend College five days a week and come from all over Scotland. Many live in rented accommodation, returning home at the weekends if possible.

Cadet Finlay Buchan said “All of lecturers know their stuff – they are previous sea goers so they are not just teaching they are sharing.”

The cadetship comprises of HNC Nautical Science and is at SCQF Level 7. The minimum entry requirements are 4 National 5 passes which must include English, Maths and one Science subject.

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Pictured: The second year cohort of Deck Officer Cadets