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Education and training

Modernised UK cadet syllabus to launch from September 2025

4 December 2023

Starting from September 2025, UK maritime officer cadets will be taught to an updated syllabus formulated by the Cadet Training and Modernisation (CT&M) Programme.

Modules from the updated syllabus, which was created in line with the recommendations of the Maritime Skills Commission’s 2021 Seafarer Cadet Review Report, will be delivered to nautical colleges this week. The syllabus will also be presented to the International Maritime Organization, which could lead to global changes to cadet training.

The syllabus has been updated to reflect current practices and technology used onboard. 'Human element' skills have also been woven throughout.

The CT&M Programme is led and coordinated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), and it brings together regulators with seafarers, nautical colleges, and shipping companies. Nautilus International has taken an active role throughout and is represented on the CT&M Programme Board as well as the high-level Oversight Board.

MCA chief examiner Ajit Jacob, said: 'We were very clear from the outset that we wanted this syllabus review to be industry-led and for it not to be the MCA dictating what is needed.

'No other maritime nation has performed a review like this in conjunction with industry and what we have produced is a new collaborative model that delivers the training requirements of every sector within the industry. We will present it to the IMO next year as we are proud of what we have produced and know that other nations will benefit from this too. Well-educated and well-prepared seafarers benefit everyone, and we are happy to share our knowledge globally.

'The pace of technological change shows no signs of slowing and a new, continuous review approach will help us to stay ahead and ensure that our cadets are offered the most modern training we can give.'

Nautilus head of professional and technical David Appleton said: 'The completion of this review represents a huge milestone for the MCA's Cadet Training and Modernisation programme and means that UK cadets will now be receiving the best education possible during their college phases. With this achievement under it's belt, it is now time for government to re-focus its efforts on ensuring that the desperately needed changes to the funding and oversight of UK training programmes are implemented as soon as possible, to ensure that the quality of practical experience at sea matches that provided at the colleges.'

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