Working in partnership with other bodies, we support a range of initiatives to raise awareness of maritime careers among schoolchildren and young adults. We also seek to inspire those on the lower rungs of the maritime career ladder to develop their potential – offering information and, for certain maritime professionals, financial support for further training through the JW Slater Fund.
In addition, we encourage trainees to stick with their courses and feel positive about the career they have chosen, through our regular college visits and our award schemes for worthy cadets. And members at any stage in their career can gain inspiration for their next move through the maritime job ads we carry in the Nautilus Telegraph and the Nautilus Jobs site.
The JW Slater Fund, administered by Nautilus International and the Marine Society, offers substantial financial awards to help British ratings, electrotechnical officers and yacht crew study for a first certificate of competency. The money can be used towards the costs of any necessary full- or part-time education, and to provide some financial support during college phases for those off pay.
Named in honour of former MNAOA general secretary John Slater, the awards are made to selected UK-resident applicants aged 20 or over. More than 1,400 Slater Fund awards have been made by the Union since the scheme was launched in 1977.
Find out more - and get your application started - on the Marine Society's Slater Scholarships page.
The Careers at Sea Ambassadors scheme was launched in 2008 by the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB), Nautilus and the Marine Society. Administered by the MNTB, the scheme encourages British seafarers to attend careers fairs or give careers presentations at their local schools and youth groups.
The volunteer Ambassadors are supplied with materials needed to run a careers stand, such as banners, leaflets and pens to hand out to the schoolchildren. If giving a careers talk, Ambassadors are offered a multimedia Careers at Sea presentation. Training sessions are periodically arranged by the MNTB to help new Ambassadors prepare for their school visits.
Careers at Sea Ambassadors is publicised every month in the Nautilus Telegraph, and many Nautilus members have joined the scheme. Details of how to volunteer are on the Careers at Sea website.
In 2010, Nautilus helped to set up Zeebenen in de klas, a Dutch scheme encouraging seafarers to give careers presentations in their local schools. It was inspired by a successful programme run by the Dutch shipbuilding industry, in which ‘ambassadors’ from the workforce went into schools to inspire pupils to take up a shipbuilding career.
An important task for the original shipbuilding ambassadors was to change attitudes about a type of work often stigmatised as dirty and insecure. The seafarers’ version of the scheme also seeks to show schoolchildren and their families that times have changed, explaining that the shipping industry is now hi-tech, with well-paid, highly-skilled work on offer.
Zeebenen in de klas is backed by the Dutch shipping industry’s labour market task force, a joint venture between shipowners and unions. The scheme has a dedicated coordinator who matches up each volunteer with a school and supplies materials for the presentation. The target age for Zeebenen in de klas presentations is 10-12 years old.
Numerous Nautilus members have volunteered as ambassadors since seeing the scheme advertised in the Nautilus Telegraph. There’s more information on the Zeebenen website, or email email@example.com.
Nautilus is a partner in Sea Vision, the ongoing UK campaign to enthuse the young people of today about the maritime opportunities of tomorrow. Interest in the maritime sector is promoted through educational and maritime career-related activities for British 11-to-22 year olds. Nautilus members often take part in these activities as mentors, and Sea Vision events are reported on in the Nautilus Telegraph.
Nautilus also attends numerous maritime colleges in the UK and the Netherlands to talk to new maritime students about the realities of life at sea. Nautilus employees, often those who have been to sea themselves, talk students through what to expect from their first sea phases. They answer the questions that many young people will have, but that their academic studies might not necessarily answer. Questions as simple as what to pack for a four-month trip, what sort of jobs they might be expected to undertake on that first voyage and importantly, who they can turn to if things don’t quite turn out as expected. Cadets are also encouraged to join the Young Maritime Professionals Forum.
To find out when the next maritime college visit is planned, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nautilus runs two annual award schemes for cadets (officer trainees): one in the Netherlands and the other in the UK. The scheme in the Netherlands is for the most socially-aware student, and is presented to the winner upon graduation from maritime college.
In the UK, there is the Bevis Minter Award, named in tribute to a former chairman of the Union’s Council. The Bevis Minter Award has been presented by the Union every year since 1996 to the cadet judged to be the ‘most worthy’ — recognising those who demonstrate determination and a particularly positive attitude to succeed in their chosen career. The winner is nominated by his or her maritime college, and can be at any stage of officer training.