Industry Information

These pages provide useful information about various MNTB activities, related interests and organisations.  Please check out the links provided, otherwise, contact Donna Stevens for further information.

The Department for Transport provides the Support for Maritime Training scheme (SMarT), which is available to shipping companies and training organisations to help cover a proportion of seafarer training costs.

The Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) scheme has been running since April 1998 for the training of officers, officer cadets and ratings. Courses must be approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB). The aim is to ensure an adequate supply of UK maritime expertise to meet the nation’s economic and strategic requirements. SMarT covers up to 50% of actual training costs and is paid to the training providers (shipping companies) who sponsor the trainees, not to individuals or colleges. Eligible Shipping Companies (TPs) must apply to become a TP within SMarT before they are able to claim for eligible trainees.

Initially there were five SMarT categories which funded training towards a first and second certificate of competency, watch rating training and also rating to officer conversions and conversions from STCW ‘78 to STCW ‘78, as amended (‘95). More information can be found in here. In 2012 SMarT categories were rationalized to SMarT 1, 3 and 5. A fixed annual budget of £12 million was announced until 31 March 2015 to support maritime training. The majority of this money was focused on supporting initial training for cadets studying at junior officer level (SMarT 1).

Unemployed seafarers wishing to train as either a Rating or who is a Rating and wishes to become an Officer, may apply for funding through the Merchant Navy Training Provider. More details can be found in here in section 14.

In February 2018 SMarT updates led to an effective doubling of support to £30 million a year, which will enable the annual intake of SMarT cadets to rise from 750 to something in the region of 1,200

The MNTB operates the Merchant Navy Training Provider (MNTP) to support unemployed seafarers, by providing funding for certain training courses.

The MNTB operates the Merchant Navy Training Provider (MNTP) to provide Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) funding to unemployed seafarers for certain approved programmes, such as Rating to Officer, Chief Mate/2nd Engineer.  Specific citizenship and other eligibility criteria apply. Further information and application should be made to Donna Stevens

The Slater Fund provides scholarships of up to £17,500 to help ratings and other seafarers study for a first certificate of competency as an officer. The Fund is administered by the Marine Society in association with Nautilus International.

If you’re a Merchant Navy rating considering career progression, the scholarship can be used to offset the direct costs of training and accommodation, travel, learning resources and living expenses whilst undertaking the qualification.

Contact the Marine Society for further information.

The MCA Officer Trainee of the Year Award is presented each year to a newly certificated officer for outstanding achievements during their training – whether personal, professional and/or academic. Nominations are made by nautical colleges/universities in association with the trainee’s sponsoring company. A worthy winner is identified by a panel consisting of an MCA representative with other leading industry figures.The award is made at the ‘Annual Court’ of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets each October.

This years winner is Ewan McNeil.

In 2015 Her Majesty The Queen signed the Royal Warrant for the Merchant Navy Medal for meritorious service. Details can be found on the Department for Transport website.

The Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service is awarded on an annual basis.  Full information about the medal and guidance on how to nominate a seafarer for an award are provided on the Merchant Navy Medal website. The nomination form for the Merchant Navy Medal can be found on the Department for Transport website.

The MNTB works closely with a range of industry organisations and bodies that are involved in Merchant Navy education and training activities.

We regularly receive queries about joining the Merchant Navy, finding out about SMarT funding, where to purchase uniforms, tracing Merchant Navy ancestors etc.  The frequently asked questions pages will help to find the answers to your questions.