UKSA Level 3 Workboat Crew Member Apprenticeship

Are you looking for an exciting career in the maritime industry?

Academic Level
Apprenticeship Level 3
Age Requirement
Course Price
Fully Funded
Course Duration
18 – 24 Months

Workboat Crew Member Apprenticeship

The UKSA Level 3 Workboat Crew Member Apprenticeship is a 2 year programme designed to give the apprentice all the skills, knowledge and behaviours to work on a wide variety of specialist vessels ranging from tugs and multi-purpose workboats to fast pilot boats and crew transfer vessels taking personnel out to vessels or installations offshore. Anyone 18 or over can apply, and there is no upper age limit.

No previous experience required.


What is a workboat crew member?

Workboat crew members are part of a small team, typically 2-3 personnel, working on a wide variety of specialist vessels ranging from tugs and multi-purpose workboats to fast pilot boats and crew transfer vessels taking personnel out to vessels or installations offshore.

Workboats operate in varying marine environments such as construction of offshore windfarms, providing a range of services within a port or inland waterways, including surveys and towage. In addition, they may act as support vessels in major salvage operations and wreck removal.  These vessels are typically less than 24m in length with accommodation for up to 5 persons.

About the UKSA Level 3 Workboat Crew Member Apprenticeship

On completion of the apprenticeship and the end point assessment there is the opportunity of full-time employment.

The crewmember must have the knowledge, skills and competence to carry out all the core tasks on board with minimal supervision, including –

  • Communications – including use of VHF and UHF radios, mobile telephone and IT
  • Navigation & vessel handling – manoeuvre the workboat and check position using bridge equipment.
  • Berthing – bring workboat alongside and to handle mooring ropes to secure the workboat.
  • Towing Operations & Laying Moorings – using winches to handle ropes, wires and chains.
  • Personnel Transfers – ensuring all precautions taken to allow safe transfer to other object.
  • Cargo handling – assist in slinging of loads, crane operations and securing cargo on board the workboat.
Course price

The UKSA Level 3 Workboat Crew Member Apprenticeship is fully funded by the government.


  • No experience required!
  • Every civil apprentice without exception will need to pass the MCA’s strict ENG 1 medical requirements.

Qualifications gained

  1. STCW Basic Safety Training
    1. MCA Personal Survival Techniques 
    2. MCA Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention
    3. MCA Elementary First Aid
    4. MCA Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
  2. Proficiency in Designated Security Duties
  3. Navigational Watch Rating Certificate
  4. MCA Approved Engine Course 1 (AEC1)
  5. MCA Approved Engine Course 2 (AEC2)
  6. MCA Efficient Deck Hand Certificate
  7. Marine Hydraulic Loader Crane Operators certificate
  8. Slinger and Signaller’s certificate
  9. Food preparation and hygiene certificate
  10. Marine Radio Short Range Certificate
  11. Vessel Ropework, Anchoring and Mooring Operations certificate

Apprentices without Level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking their end point assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement the apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3 and British Sign Language qualification are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.

Career pathways

Below are just some of the different maritime employment opportunities which become available to you once you complete the UKSA Level 3 Workboat Crew Member Apprenticeship.

Tug Boats

When you need a small ship for a big job, tug boats are used. Without tug boats, there would be hundreds of collisions every year. These small (but mighty) boats are designed to pull a ship into port so it can dock. They also carry out tasks such as towing offshore units and retrieving anchors and other heavy equipment.

Offshore Support

These vessels rarely are seen in port, but play a vital role in the maritime industry, housing crew members, transporting equipment, and acting as “land” for machinery.

Rescue and Military Ships

When there’s an emergency on the high seas, the coast guard or another rescue organization is likely to come to your assistance. Their ships are usually fairly small and made for speed. They’re also equipped with all the supplies one needs for a rescue mission, such as blow-up life rafts, extra ropes, and medical supplies.

Fishing Vessels

Fishing vessels, which actually use traps most of the time, not fishing lines, come in a range of sizes, depending on the animal they are hunting, how far from shore they will be, how many men are on the crew, and how long they expect to be gone.

Other Types

Of course, there are other types of ships as well – far too many to continue naming here. There are ships that carry scientists to the corners of the world to explore the ocean and ships used by the world’s weather services to predict and monitor climate. There are also ships used to break through ice in the winter so that carriers have a lane and ships that specialize in transporting cargo. Your “office” options are endless!

How to apply?

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