Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I join the merchant navy?

How do I join the merchant navy?

There are several routes by which to join the merchant navy dependent on which department you would like to join.

Departments in the merchant navy can typically be broken down into four:

Electro-technical Department
Deck Department
Engineering Department
Catering and Hospitality Department

Dependent on your level of experience, you can join at different ranks within each department, however, a typical route to join the merchant navy is though a maritime cadetship.

Similar to an apprenticeship, merchant navy cadets are paid a salary while earning their qualifications and gain practical experience by training “on the job”.

Find out more about merchant navy cadetships
Find out more about deck officer cadetships
Find out more about engineering cadetships
Find out more about electro-technical cadetships

Apply for a maritime cadetship

Is my Cadetship contract with the sponsor or with Chiltern Maritime?

Your training agreement is with your sponsor – Chiltern Maritime is the administrator.

What is the relationship between Chiltern Maritime and a cadet manager?

Chiltern will remain in regular contact throughout your cadetship as the cadet manager. We visit you at college and communicate with you whilst at college and at sea.

Can the sponsor company sell you/ trade you with other shipping companies under the terms of the contract?

No. Your cadetship training agreement cannot be traded or sold to third party companies.

If I struggle at college and find a component difficult, is there a chance I can be dropped or pushed back by my cadetship sponsor?

This would be a highly unusual circumstance as full support is given at college to help ensure you pass and keep on track with your studies.

Do I only get paid my bursary while at sea?

Your sponsor will pay your bursary both whilst at sea and at college.

In the case of economic downturn, if the ships are moored up or lying idle. What happens to me?

That is the risk in any position, however, your training will be sufficiently diverse and varied for there to be opportunities in other sectors of the industry available to you.

Is there a minimum term of service with the sponsor company?

There is no minimum term. All the sponsor ask is that you complete your training.

Broadly speaking, what are the typical shift patterns of a maritime Cadet?

Ships operate 24/7, 365 days a year. Usually, when you first join you will be on day work – this is 7.00am – 5 pm (ish) with breaks for lunch. Then as time goes on, you move onto watch keeping, again this is normally split into three shift patterns 8am-12 noon, 12 noon-4pm and 4pm-8pm. This means you will do two – 4-hour shifts a day i.e. 8-12 in the morning and 8-12 in the evening.

During training, Cadets usually get some time off to study and, on occasions, when the ship is in port you may be allowed to go ashore.

When at college, do you arrange your own lodging and pay for this separately?

During Phase 1 of your Cadetship, you normally stay on campus. This will be arranged for you and you pay for this out of your bursary. When you return to college after phase 1 for phase 3, most cadets share a house.

Will I be with other Chiltern Cadets or are we spread at different colleges?

Yes, we hope that there will be a number of cadets at the same college – it all depends on who accepts and what course they are doing.