Workboat operations apprenticeship

Workboat operations apprenticeship

Specialist workboats are used for a whole host of activities that support the marine industry.

They operate as landing craft, for loading and transporting crew and cargo, and are used in construction and engineering projects, as supporting vessels for offshore tower and cable installation and repair, for offshore maintenance and inspection, diving operations, fuel and water supply, and in port and harbour maintenance.

As an apprentice you would work as a workboat deck-hand and your main role would be to assist with steering and lookout and the safe navigation of the vessel. You would also have a responsibility to help with operating and maintaining deck and engine room machinery, mooring and anchoring, and other specialist workboat operations

As part of your apprenticeship you will gain a good working knowledge of health and safety; vessel ropework; anchoring and mooring operations; vessel construction and stability; survival in the water during maritime emergencies; fire prevention and fire fighting; emergency first aid; and basic navigational watchkeeping.

Compared with many other forms of transport, shipping has a low carbon footprint and the latest propulsion units are reducing it even further. The development of off-shore energy sources requires support services provided by the marine sector, making this an industry that offers a secure future with a wide range of career opportunities. However, it must be recognised that the workplace environment can be unpredictable and dangerous as well as exciting and a minimum standard of health and fitness is required to be able to cope with adverse conditions at sea.

You can find more information on careers at


Intermediate (Level 2)

Starting salary:

Those working on specialist workboats receive a good salary based on the responsibilities of their job. There could be unsocial hours and many operate a shift system

Job roles:

Workboat deckhand

Issuing Authority:

Maritime Skills Alliance –