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MCG News

Maritime Charities continue to offer retraining funding

11 November 2021

The Maritime Charities Group (MCG) Covid-19 Redundancy and Retraining Bursary Fund has helped 75 seafarers with the cost of training to help them get back into work in the sector since it opened a year ago. In the past 12 months, MCG together with Trinity House, Nautilus Slater Fund and the Merchant Navy Welfare Board have awarded over £34k towards the cost of a wide range of training courses including certificate renewal and retraining for offshore and wind farms.

Chair of MCG, Commander Graham Hockley LVO RN explained: “When we set up the bursary fund just over a year ago, it was initially only for six months. But with no government funding available for seafarer retraining and the impact of the pandemic on the availability of work, it made sense to extend the scheme to the end of 2021. Demand has been pretty steady, but applications from female seafarers have been few and far between, which is something we want to address. So we’re asking everyone to help spread the word, while the fund is still open.”

Commander Hockley continued: “There must be female seafarers out there who are out of work and would benefit from retraining. Our message to them and to any other UK-based seafarer who’s lost work due to the pandemic, is that the MCG bursary could help you get back into employment or retrain for a new role in the industry. It covers everything from certificate renewal to writing job applications, from retraining to interviewing skills. Just go to the Marine Society website and apply today. And don’t forget: tell your crew, tell your colleagues, tell your mates!”

The fund, which is administered by the Marine Society on behalf of MCG, provides extra cash for training and refresher courses and is aimed at merchant seafarers who’ve lost work due to Covid-19 and want to stay in the industry.

Applicants can claim up to £500 towards training or qualifications of their choice. To find out more about the MCG Redundancy and Retraining Bursary Fund and how to apply go to

CASE STUDY: Nick Norrish

Nick Norrish applied to the MCG bursary fund for help with the cost of training as a Shipboard Security Officer. He had lost his job as Second Officer DPO (Dynamic Positioning Officer) due to the pandemic and wanted to stay in maritime. He explained: Unfortunately the research vessel I was working on was cold stacked, partly due to concerns over running a non-profit making venture during a pandemic. I wanted to stay in maritime and doing the course really helped. It showed potential employers that I was being proactive with my professional development, even between jobs. It also meant that I could apply for a broader range of jobs - and I had several job offers as a result.”

Thanks to the MCG bursary fund Nick now has a new job: “I recently joined a private yacht as 1st Officer and am putting my new qualifications to good use. I really would encourage others to apply to the MCG bursary fund. The process is straight forward, the staff are friendly and helpful, and the fund is proven to work. My career has undoubtedly been enhanced, thanks to the MCG.”