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Start your maritime engineering career this Seafarers week
With an estimated 95% of imports and exports coming in and out via UK ports, covering everything from food to fuel, it is hard to argue with the importance of the shipping industry to everyday lives and the health of the economy.
Given the reliance on the shipping and maritime industry, it is important to celebrate not only the people who are crucial to the industry, but to promote the job opportunities within it. And Seafarers Awareness Week (23-30 June), a campaign run by Seafarers UK, is doing just that.
The theme for this year’s event is all about promoting the employment opportunities in the UK for maritime workers, with a particular emphasis on the opportunities for engineers, both at sea and on-shore. As Maritime UK predicts that sea trade will double in the next 20 years, campaigns like this, and the UK Government’s ‘Year of Engineering’, are critical for promoting engineering careers in the maritime industry.
Why work in the maritime industry?
From shipping to defence and from commercial to leisure boating, the maritime industry turns over £47 billion annually. With that comes an array of interesting employment opportunities.
Scott Cook, Shipping Recruitment Specialist at Matchtech, speaks about the exciting careers for engineers in the maritime sector:
“With shipping playing such an important role in trade in the UK, having skilled maritime engineers is vital. A lot of shipping jobs we are seeing are for technical and marine superintendents, who are responsible for managing the maintenance, repairs and safety of vessels, as well as marine surveyors whose role is to inspect, survey and examine ships in service and when involved in incidents at sea.
“In shipping there are also plenty of overseas job opportunities for engineers, with need for specialists in European countries like the Netherlands and Germany, as well as places like Dubai and Singapore.”
Outside the world of shipping, marine engineers and skilled trades people are needed to help build boats for the leisure industry or be involved in the construction or aircraft carriers, submarines and frigates for the Royal Navy.
Routes into maritime engineering
For those looking to begin an exciting career as a marine engineer, there are a few different pathways into the industry, according to Scott:
“Although most employers typically look for maritime engineers to hold either a degree in marine engineering or have proven experience at sea as a marine engineer or deck officer, there are opportunities for electrical and mechanical engineers to join the maritime industry and build their technical maritime knowledge on the job. As well as this, some begin in the industry as an apprentice, either after GCSEs or A-Levels. Apprenticeships are great ways to build hands-on experience, learn from seasoned marine engineers and work on projects while gaining qualifications.”