Seafarer Cadet Review Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference for the Seafarer Cadet Review were:

What should UK Seafarer education and training be expected to deliver?

1. Is the skills base necessary to meet the future needs of the shipping and maritime services sector in the UK being delivered?

  • What number of officer cadets do we need now and in the future?
  • How many are there currently, what is the gap and how might we close it?
  • Is the sector competing effectively with other sectors for the best quality students – both for the degree and non-degree courses? Does the funding model in which it is a sponsoring company, not the student who receives grant help or hinder this? Does the fact that it is often not the choice of the student as to where they study influence potential students perception?
  • Is there value in extending the learning on management/leadership to broaden the value of the learning to the wider Maritime Services sector?
  • Do the qualifications have the necessary currency outside the sector? Does this affect students perception of seafarer training?
  • How far can apprenticeships for ratings complement and supplement cadetships as means of attracting talented people to the sector?

2. Is the education and training fit for purpose? An increased supply of UK-based seafaring officers whose skills are in global demand and which will meet the needs of shipping as it transforms through automation and decarbonisation in the next 10 – 20 years.

  • Are most qualified UK-based seafaring officers able to secure roles after qualification – what might make them more attractive?
  • Is Merchant Navy and Royal Navy seafarer education and training sufficiently integrated?
  • Is the “at sea” experience that students receive always structured, positive and relevant – how might this be improved? Are the sector too reliant on sea time and not focussed enough on skills demonstrated – for example through simulators etc
  • Is the education and training, whether pitched at “apprentice” or “degree” level seen by potential students as part of the wide spectrum of career/education choices that they have or as a niche associated with a low-profile sector?
  • What needs to happen to the seafarer education and training system to implement changes in syllabus and education in a timely manner.
  • Given that most former cadets do not stay at sea until they retire, could and should we do more to structure post-qualification experience at sea with an eye to future opportunities ashore?

3. Are we in a position to defend and reinforce the UK’s leadership of global seafarer training, leading to increasing share of the global seafarer training market.

  • Can the UK seafarer education and training sector move to improve content and teaching methods ahead of international competitors (eg Singapore)? If not, why not?

4. Value for money

  • Is the dropout rate too high? How might it be reduced?
  • Is the funding system too complex?
  • How does it compare in terms of £ per job outcome compared to apprenticeships and student loans?