Covid-19 Redundancy and Retraining Bursary Fund Launches

Posted on 23 November 2020 by Tom Saunders


The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of industries to reluctantly close their doors temporarily with staff members being caught in this unprecedented wave of uncertainty, having to settle for the government furlough scheme or worse; redundancy.

We have joined forces with an alliance of maritime welfare charities Maritime Charities Group (MCG), the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) and Trinity House to launch a bursary fund solely catering for merchant seafarers based in the UK who are facing or have already faced redundancy due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Through this new resource, applicants will feel an element of security in regards to looking for a new role in the maritime industry, due to now being eligible for up to £500 funding towards essential training in these roles.

Applicants can self-select whatever training and/or qualifications they feel will help them to achieve this. This can include transferable skills such as interview preparation or CV writing tailored to a maritime industry. Courses can include MCA-approved and STCW refresher qualifications, maritime-related professional diplomas or ICS qualifications.

The ultimate aim is to keep as many people in the industry as possible, as we not only battle this unforgiving pandemic but also try to keep the maritime industry flourishing and up to date, both technologically and environmentally. We need as many people in the industry as possible to help us do that.

Commander Graham Hockley LVO RN and Chair of the MCG said this about the initiative and why now is the right time: “The cruise and ferry sectors have been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. We know from our trade union contacts that around 2,000 merchant seafarers are already facing redundancy and more are likely to follow. Jobs are in short supply but the market will pick up so now’s the time to invest in training and skills development.”

Our Director of Maritime Training and Development, Darrell Bate emphasised the simplicity of the process and how the Marine Society are always there for to provide help and guidance: “We want to make the process as simple as possible for anyone applying for this new funding. All they need to do is prove that their job is being made redundant, find a course that fills a gap in their training or skills, and apply online through a dedicated page on the Marine Society website. We can also provide information about what’s out there, so if you need help with ideas just get in touch.”

Seafarers that plan to transition to a shore-side role can use their bursary to access our Coming Ashore programme - https://www.marine-society.org/coming-ashore - that provides industry mentoring and access to learning resources.

To find out more about the MCG redundancy and retraining bursary fund and how to apply go to https://www.marine-society.org/redundancy-fund .


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