So Spence reading your grammatically laughable blog has somehow managed to make me want to look a little further into joining the Merchant Navy, what do I do now?
I suggest looking for a nautical college near you, many of them have large open days/ weekends for prospective students.
There are a number of nautical colleges in the UK that you will have to commit to attending for 3 years, with intermittent trips to sea totalling 12months, Known as a cadetship. The requirement is different across the world but the principle is the same.
Look at the nautical colleges and decide from their websites, prospectaces, literature & open days if they are the sort of place you would like to attend. In the UK you may have to live on site for up to 6 weeks initial training and ‘academic ramp’ before being able to live locally, unless following a degree route.
Do some research into your chosen field, Deck, Engineer or Electrotechnical and the type of qualification you will be eligible to obtain for example: HNC/D, Foundation Degree or Degree based on your existing qualifications.
In the UK the new academic year starts this coming January 2013 and there is still a chance to start then if you act quickly on finding a sponsor for your cadetship.
As far as your existing qualifications go it varies as to who (sponsor) /where (college) will accept you. This is something you will obviously have to discuss but a fairly good grasp of maths or sciences is preferred.
Open days can often turn into interview days so buy a suit/officewear, look presentable, set a good impression. Tattoos are fine just as long as they aren’t offensive and even if they are if you can do the job it rarely matters (except on cruise ships) don’t stretch your ears too much or you might get mistaken for a local tribesman on some far off island you might find yourself on, unloading cargo.
For those looking to start in September 2013 I’d advise you attend as many careers days as possiblle. Warsash Maritime Academy in Southampton are advertising theirs here
The other colleges are yet to advertise theirs but I will keep an eye out. The other UK colleges details are shown below:
South Tyneside Marine School
I am currently working on a comprehensive run down on the different types of courses and their timetables, I’m an old bearded man now so things have changed since I was studying so I’m having to dig about and do a little research for you.
I hope this is useful and I hope readers from other shores around the world have also found this advise somewhat useful too.