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Cross every ocean

The UK maritime sector employs 185,000 people and contributes nearly £40 billion to the country's economy. World seaborne trade is predicted to continue to rise over the next 10 years, meaning employment opportunities both at sea and ashore look set to expand.

The Maersk Line container ship sailing out of port

Merchant navy

The Merchant Navy is made up of a large number of shipping companies operating many different types and size of ship, from container ships, to chemical carriers, to oil rig supply vessels. With over 50,000 ships in operation, commercial shipping is a significant contributor to the global supply chain with 95% of all imports and exports moved by sea.

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There are over 4,500 superyachts in operation employing an estimated 33,000 crew members. The global superyacht industry has an annual turnover of €24 billion, 54% of which is created in Europe. This is a prestige employment sector with many job opportunities. 

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A superyacht moored up at night with lights reflecting on the sea
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Warsash has been training seafarers since the 1940s

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P&O's Britannia cruise ship sailing across the sea


The cruise industry continues to grow with nearly 400 ships in operation, carrying 30 million passengers around the globe. The industry is estimated to grow to over 500 ships carrying more than 40 million passengers over the next 10 years.

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Offshore and renewable energy

More than a quarter of the world's oil and gas supply is produced offshore, and more than a third of the UK's energy comes from renewable sources. Both industries provide opportunities for seafarers to work on the vessels supporting the installations.

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A survey vessel leaving port
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There are almost 26,000 active UK seafarers at sea

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A small grey workboat with a crew on board attending to their job at sea


There are around 1,000 workboats in operation in the UK. Many are over 24m, leading to the MCA introducing the Master (Workboats less than 500GT) CoC, allowing deck and engineer officers to work on these vessels without holding full Merchant Navy unlimited certificates. 

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Industry updates

Stay up-to-date with the latest in maritime industry updates, including STCW and MCA regulatory changes which could affect your training.

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Trainees in clothes with life jackets, in a pool, completing their escape safety training with an instructor