V.Ships Cadet Programme UK
We run two types of programmes, United Kingdom and International.
We fully understand the importance of well-trained sea staff, which is why we’re committed to recruiting and training cadets as part of our comprehensive career development programme.
Our current cohort includes over 1100 cadets from all over the world, undergoing training at all stages of cadetship. We focus on developing the skills, knowledge and competence of our recruits to be future officers, with training completed during both seagoing service and within maritime colleges and academies. As part of our commitment to ensure crew safety and wellbeing, all our cadets can also count on our established global Employee Assistance Programme to provide mental and physical wellbeing support throughout their journey.
Our cadets are trained to have absolute regard to safety, security and the maritime environment, receiving mentoring and career guidance throughout their employment with us.
All officers onboard play an active role in the cadet development programme, while our shore-based cadet training team actively manage the process. We receive applications for UK cadet programme all year round for Deck, Engineers & Electro-Technical officers’ routes.
Please note: As a strictly compliant global leader in marine services, V. Group will not request any fees or compensation for our services from seafarers. Please be aware of any illegal recruitment services and crewing representatives attempting to act on our behalf.
V.Ships partners with top UK nautical colleges.
Entry Requirements (UK)
48 UCAS points at A/AS level, including subjects which support the application
To be eligible for SMarT funding, a trainee must be a national of the UK, a Member State of the European Economic Area, a Channel Islands or the Isle of Man
GCSE Mathematics (grade 6 or above), Science and English Language at grades C or above (or equivalent)
Where English is not the applicant’s first language, an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent, achieved within the two years prior to applying for the programme
Other qualifications that are equivalent to the above (normally, the College will review evidence supplied by mature, non-standard applicants regarding their ability to undertake the programme)
The award of credits via Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) will be assessed on an individual basis
Applicants will need to pass an industry-standard medical examination in order to complete a placement at sea (it is advised that applicants complete this prior to arrival)
HNC/HND Entry Criteria
HNC/HND (Higher National Certificate/Diploma) Requirements*
|GCSEs||4 – 9|
|National 5s||A – C|
|Standard Grades||1 – 3|
*Equivalent grades will be considered
SPD/FD (Scottish Professional Diploma/Foundation Degree) Requirements
If you have 48 UCAs points from Highers or A-Levels including Math and or Physics plus the qualifications for the HNC/HND course you could be eligible.
Applicants for the Foundation Degree and Scottish Professional Diploma routes require 48 UCAS points from 2 or more A Levels or Highers; these must include either Physics or Mathematics.
Applicants will also require 4 GCSEs or Standard Grades at grade C/3 or above including English, Mathematics and a Science based subject. Applicants for Electro-Technical Officer training must hold the qualifications required for the Foundation Degree
Start Your New Career Today
01. Recruitment Selection
- Online screening including a Cadet Application
- Form and CV upload
- Stage 1 Ability test
- Stage 2 Attend formal face to face/virtual interview
- Stage 3 Induction day at a V.Ships Office in the UK / virtual on boarding
- Cadet Training Programme Commences shortly after induction
02. Cadet Training Programme
Phase 1, 3 & 5 will be in college & phases 2 & 4 will be onboard a vessel.
- Phase 1 Academics & basic STCW courses
- Phase 2 Sea Phase
(Seatime – Deck= 12 months Engine= 8 months ETO= 9 months)
- Phase 3 Academics and advanced courses
- Phase 4 Sea Phase
- Phase 5 IAMI, SQA’s and Oral Prep
- NoE (Notice of Eligibility) application & MCA Oral Examination
03. Career Development Path
- Offering support in obtaining your first job within the Maritime Industry, giving advice with building your CV, preparing for interviews and informing you of internal vacancies.
V.Ships Cadets Testimonials
Deck Cadet John Smallbone joined V.Group in 2017. John joined the Group with no maritime experience following a varied career including roles as a court officer, rent officer, supermarket team leader and deputy general manager at a pub restaurant. John was attracted to a career at sea as an alternative to the 9-5 life and because it provided an opportunity to travel. He has recently completed his training:
Finally, being at the end of this road I’d say without doubt it was the best career move I’d made. I’ve seen sunsets and sunrises over New York. I’ve been to Times Square, Central Park and World Trade Centre and been paid to be there. I’ve seen places in the world less than 0.5% people ever will, from cities in China that nobody has ever heard of to the adrenaline rush of sailing through rough seas. I’ve met amazing people from all over the world and heard some amazing stories. And now, at the end of my Cadetship, I’ve got some amazing stories of my own.
Transferable skills that John has called upon include: time management, dispute resolution, organisation and teamwork.
If anything, starting my Cadetship in my mid-twenties has made my life easier. I know myself better than I did at 18, and it’s given me the drive to push through the hard times at college.
This example shows the benefits of considering recruits with limited maritime experience but with skills that are vital for success in the industry. When employing slightly older graduates for such roles, operators benefit from a wide range of life skills they have built up.
John SmallboneFind out more
At the cadetship open day I heard cadets and training managers speak of orals and SQA examinations. Never would I have thought that time would go by so quick. I am coming towards the end of my HND deck cadetship and now preparing for orals. During this time I have sailed with many seafarers on different vessel types each sharing their knowledge and experience with me. Equally at college, lecturers have spent their time sharing their knowledge and using the best resources to prepare me academically for sea. As a young girl I always knew I wanted to go to sea and my first sea trip confirmed this. Hand on heart I can say this is definitely the career for me, I cannot see myself doing anything else. An interesting and challenging industry I’d highly recommend anyone to be a part of.
Chrystabel GreentreeFind out more
In V.Group we fully understand the importance of well-trained seafarers, which is why we’re committed to recruiting and training cadets as part of our comprehensive career development programme. We run two programs, United Kingdom and International.
Our current cohort includes over 1000 cadets from all over the world, undergoing training at all stages of cadetship. The UK cadetship programme currently has over 50 cadets. We focus on developing the skills, knowledge and competence of our recruits to be future officers, with training completed during both seagoing service and academia at maritime colleges and academies.
To maximise their understanding within the industry, we aim for cadets to experience time onboard as many different ship types as possible throughout their cadetship.
All officers onboard play an active role in the cadet development programme, while our UK shore based cadet training team, Florentina Peteu & Jemma Paterson actively manage the process. Our cadets are trained to have absolute regard to safety, security and the maritime environment, receiving mentoring and career guidance throughout their training with us.
One of our Cadets, Noah Robinson tells us, in his own words, about his first Seagoing Experience.
Hi, I’m Noah. I spent just over 5 months as an engine cadet on an LPG tanker Eco Loyalty moving around Europe all summer and I loved it! This was my first time working at sea, so I didn’t know it, but I had yet to encounter a new world’s worth of experiences in this industry. During my college phase, it was not uncommon to hear stories from other cadets or lecturers about both good and bad experiences whilst being away, but regardless, I most definitely felt I was in safe hands even if I was a tad anxious before leaving.
Unfortunately, the stories which stood out were usually the ones from other cadets about them feeling neglected or not being able to cope with the workloads/ living conditions etc. For this reason, I tried to lower my expectations of entitlement for everything I was yet to encounter. My logic was that if I didn’t have a high expectation of entitlement then I would seldom feel let down or disappointed upon facing reality.
To my surprise upon arrival, I was given my own cabin on-board and even though I’m not picky with my diet, the food happened to be similar to the Caribbean soul food I was already used to from back home so needless to say I got on well with the chief cook. Nevertheless, the hard work soon began from day 1 and I knew it was only discipline and perseverance which could get me through my time onboard. It was much easier in thought as opposed to practice when anticipating long workdays followed by intense revision in the evenings and even more foreign to me was learning the fact that everyone else on-board had adapted to this lifestyle through speaking English as a second language. My respect had grown massively for individuals who had mastered my own newfound craft all entirely through vocabulary as a second language as I suddenly felt like my struggles were relatively miniscule compared to fellow colleagues.
Upon arriving at a ship with no Wi-Fi and limited amenities, I used to count the days and add up weeks until I’d be back home to ‘normal’ life. However, my perspective soon changed when I was honest with myself and adapted to what was simply my transition into work life which was separated from home life.
It was only at this point that time began to flow by more smoothly as I put less importance on being anxious to go home but instead decided to enjoy what was present knowing all circumstances were temporary and I would soon be looking back on this time reminiscing the fun times. I knew, when I came to the end of my original 4-month contract, that I’d be calling Jemma and Florentina begging for more time on-board, extending my time spent to about 5 and a half months in total!
Having heard previous nightmares about cadets failing to complete their TRB or coming home with inadequate signatures, I put a great deal of importance on understanding my TRB tasks and planning ahead for all targets to be met. As a whole, your TRB can come across as rather daunting initially but what saved me from disaster was breaking down each section into monthly and even weekly targets. To start with, I drafted a spreadsheet on my computer of all tasks I needed to achieve in my first sea phase and completely eradicated anything I could put off until my second sea phase. I then broke down the tasks into monthly, weekly, and daily, targets (e.g., by the end of my first month onboard I want all system drawings to be traced and such corresponding descriptions written to be checked and approved by my chief engineer, so this equated to roughly one drawing and description every other day in order to stay on track). This meant I could relax about what was yet to come for the future as I only needed to focus on achieving my daily targets which took care of weekly targets which then accumulated to completing monthly targets etc. Before I knew it, I was ahead of schedule with more than enough time to spare at the end of my contract because I had just taken things day by day, doing a little bit of something each afternoon.
Working out a consistent routine helped me to focus and gave me the opportunity to over-achieve on targets when I had the extra time or energy. It also meant if I didn’t have the time or energy on any given afternoon, I could afford to prioritize rest because I was not falling behind any danger of deadline and whatever wasn’t covered today might only take me an extra 20 minutes to cover the next day when I did have the extra time/energy.
One of the biggest areas of growth I noticed from this summer were my social skills. Doing the job that we do as seafarers can require us to make cool-headed decisions whilst under immense pressure or in very uncomfortable environments. Especially in the engine room where you spend hours a day in a hot, noisy machinery space, being able to communicate clearly and pull your weight as an equal member of the team is absolutely vital for healthy working relationships.
It is inevitable that as an officer you will come across colleagues whom you may not get along with or disagree with their style of work. But I just set out to be the best version of myself possible. Being able to handle a firm talking to from your seniors is something I did not like but it was sometimes my only option to keep things running smoothly even if I believed I hadn’t done anything wrong.
I didn’t take it personally, and I reminded myself that I was only on this ship because I wanted to be there, and not because I was being forced. So, in other words, I needed everyone on that ship much more than anyone there needed me. This attitude helped me to keep a smile on my face and keep my relationships amicable even through the tensest of moments.
If I were to give any piece of advice to a cadet about to join their first vessel, it would be: learn how to adapt to your circumstances and grow an appreciation for the smaller things, for example, it could be as simple as having your favourite cookies replenished when the ship is given new provisioning or it could be that you’re given permission to get off the ship and have a few hours to yourself exploring a new city in a part of the world you would have never imagined yourself in.
Overall, I think my time away this summer was life changing and I left my ship feeling like a different person than who I was when I joined because of my attitude to soak up as much knowledge as possible and I did the most to take advantage of all opportunities afforded my way. I travelled to 18 new ports in 12 different countries, I picked up some conversational Russian and Filipino vocabulary on the way and even made relationships with people from all over the world within a matter of months. However, if you ask me, I think the most exciting part is that this is only the beginning…
We would like to thank the Captain, Officers and Crew on board Eco Loyalty for the warm welcome of our cadets and the excellent training and mentoring they offer. This is a very valuable experience for both the vessel and especially the cadet. Thank you!
Noah RobinsonFind out more
My experience so far as a cadet has been extremely positive. I’ve had the opportunity to work on both passenger and gas vessels which have given me great insight into life at sea as a deck officer. I am constantly learning and thoroughly enjoying it. I am looking forward to qualifying as an officer at the end of the year and embarking on my new career at sea.
Samuel BowdenFind out more
Start Your New Career Today
As a strictly compliant global leader in marine services, V. Group will not request any fees or compensation for our services from seafarers. Please be aware of any illegal recruitment services and crewing representatives attempting to act on our behalf.
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