Cadet Training & Modernisation (CT&M) Programme

The Cadet Training and Modernisation Programme is now active. The programme structure and governance has been agreed and implemented, and the boards and consultation groups are formed.

We look forward to engaging further with you and if you have any questions relating to the Cadet Training and Modernisation Programme review, please contact us on

We will continue to update this page with next steps.

Current situation 

The Cadet Training and Modernisation programme is now its second year of delivery. The numerous stakeholders involved are focussed on delivery of the 23 recommendations detailed in the Maritime Skills Commission Report (June 21). Currently, there are approximately 47 people, across 30 organisations, dedicating hundreds of hours of their time and expertise to support the successful outcome of the programme. This is an exemplar transformation model, where the Maritime Industry are working together, to modernise and improve.

CT&M Group Membership Overview

The programme is managed by the Oversight Committee which met for the first time in November 2021. The purpose of the Oversight Committee is to guide the programme strategy and delegate delivery tasks to the Programme Board.  The Programme Board, made up of members representing multiple organisations across the industry, will ensure the programme delivers on the recommendations set out in the Maritime Skills Commission report and in accordance with the Oversight Committee’s instructions.

Four consultation groups have been formed to work on the required modernisation and funding. These groups report progress directly to the Programme Board.  

The groups are:

  • Education Policy & Technical
  • Cadet Funding
  • Programme Communications

Progress and updates related to the Cadet Training and Modernisation Programme will be shared here on the Maritime Skills Commission portal.  We will also use this platform to reach out to wider stakeholders to consult on matters arising to ensure we are as inclusive as possible.  

Consultation Groups

Project working groups are constructed to reflect a balance of stakeholders.  Clear and regular communications across and between groups is essential, with sub-groups responsible to their relevant consultancy group.

The consultation groups, co-ordinated by the MCA have been inundated with offers of support from across the maritime industry with many members willingly giving up time to push forward changes, all done amidst the last stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Each of the original report’s twenty-three recommendations were allocated to the appropriate working group.  Each working group has precise terms of reference, clearly defined goals, and a timetable for delivery.  Joint chairs have been appointed, sharing responsibility for each group and in collaboration with their members, agreed tasks which would fulfil these goals set, meet and align with the report recommendations.

Consultation Group 1 – Education, Policy & Technical and sub-groups 1.1 Maritime as a career and career management and 1.2 Modernisation of Curriculum and examination

Consultation Group 1 is tasked with reforming and modernising the syllabuses, training, and assessment for seagoing qualifications for Nautical, Engineering and Electrical Engineering qualifications of all grades. The group is also tasked with exploring other maritime qualifications which can be offered to new entrants as an option along with the seafaring qualifications.

To date the group has suggested changes to nearly 50% of the syllabuses across all disciplines. The key changes would be a shift from emphasis on theory, to embracing a pedagogic approach whereby training and assessment focuses on practical skills that is required for the role. The key changes would be increased use of Simulators and focus on digital systems, in line with the technological changes on board vessels.

Following the submission of the final report from the maritime as a career and career management sub-group 1.1, a new consultation group has been established to look at maritime career pathways.

Consultation Group 2 – Funding and 2.1 Interim Funding

The group appointed Augmentas Consulting have successfully completed a 15 week detailed review of how cadet funding is managed across the UK.  They have used interviews with stakeholders and industry-wide feedback to undertake an independent options analysis and draw up a shortlist of viable operating models which could be implemented.

The research and options analysis conducted has identified major weaknesses in the current funding model, suggesting that it is no longer fit for purpose.  A strategic outline case has been prepared with recommendations for change.  Subject to ministerial approval, the CT&M will progress the required changes after the summer.

The consultation group conducted an industry wide survey of OOW/EOOW cadets to determine views on completing a second Certificate of Competency and current funding.  Stakeholders actively participated in survey design and promotion to ensure suitability and high responses. 

The survey received 355 responses, with over 87% saying they would consider undertaking their second CoC within the next two years if appropriate funding was made available.  The results of the survey are helping to reform SMarT funding, leading to a redrafting of a MIN to increase cadet funding from 30% to 50% while a long-term option is being formulated.

Consultation Group 4 - Communications

A communications group, reporting to the Programme Board, was set up to plan and manage the communications output both proactive and reactive in relation to the CT&M programme. 

The group supports the wider work of the individual consultation groups, including survey and campaign design.

Call for Action – Raising the Awareness National Campaign 

Cadet Training & Modernisation Programme are currently developing a Communications Plan. As part of this exercise, we are keen to join up with our stakeholders and industry to create a ‘database’ of material.  The purpose of the material will be to support the promotion and National Awareness of Maritime & Cadet Training whilst the modernisation work continues. It is proposed the materials will be released over the next 6 months and by agreement with our stakeholders.  We are asking for our partners support to share any resources or materials which you may have that are relevant which may enhance this National Campaign.  The materials will be held securely on MSC systems, and a schedule of release dates will be agreed with stakeholders in advance.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Consultation Group 4 – Communications Group, via the following enquiries address


Industry has identified the urgent need for seafarer education and training to be reformed. With the level of stakeholder engagement and the tools in place to manage this project will ensure seafarer education and training is fit for purpose and future proof UK seafarers, ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global market.


The Seafarer Cadet Review was led by Brian Johnson, CEO, Maritime and Coastguard Agency and a Working Group of Commissioners was formed including:

The group was established because the numbers of UK Merchant Navy officers being trained employed has seen a steady decline over several decades. Refreshing the seafarer training system in the UK will allow the well-regarded UK maritime training sector to adapt to the pace of change required and to strengthen its position in the international education arena..

The Review came at a request from the Maritime Minister in the MSC Tasking Letter. A Terms of Reference was been established for the Review and can be read here.

In late 2021, recommendations moved into implementation and the Cadet Training and Modernisation Programme was established. The Programme is coordinated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and draws input in from around the maritime sector to shape the recommendations and, following the outcomes from appropriate consultation the change will be implemented over the next two years. 

A Cadet Training and Modernisation Oversight Committee was set up reporting to the Minister and comprises for the following people:

  • Lucy Armstrong, Chair, Port of Tyne/Maritime Skills Commissioner
  • Graham Baldwin, Chair, Maritime Skills Commission
  • Mark Dickinson, General Secretary, Nautilus International/Maritime Skills Commissioner
  • Katy Ware, Maritime and Coastguard Agency/ Maritime Skills Commissioner
  • Ian McNaught, Deputy Master, Trinity House
  • Graham Westgarth, Vice President, UK Chamber of Shipping
  • Petra Wilkinson, Director of Maritime, Department for Transport (Chair)