Maritime cadets will be allowed to extend their funding support given through the Maritime Training, under plans announced by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
The MCA has confirmed it will extend the Maritime Training (SMarT) Fund by up to three months for those cadets who have not been able to finish their training and gain their Certificate of Competency (CoC), within the 150-week SMarT funding period because of COVID-19.
It means cadets will remain sponsored and can develop their knowledge and skills through online learning.
Cadets can claim if they have been unable to complete their training and obtain their CoC because a delay in taking an MCA oral or written exam has been caused by COVID-19 restrictions, or STCW safety courses were unavailable for the same reason. They will also be able to claim if they were unable to obtain sea service due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Katy Ware, Director of Maritime Safety and Standards said: “We know the COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for many people, including those cadets who’ve been unable to complete their training during the time they would normally be expected to.
“The last thing we want our cadets to worry about is how their training will be funded so we now intend to extend MCA support through the SMarT Fund to those cadets already signed up to it for a further three months.
“We’re also looking at how we can help future cadets as there will be potentially a knock on effect for them while the maritime industry returns to pre-COVID-19 working. We’ll review this policy regularly. Cadets are the future of maritime and we must do all we can to support them.”
Funding will also be available for eligible cadets still going through the system during the next three years including those who have or who will enrol between April 2020 and March 2021 - requests will be considered on a case by case basis.
Full details and what supporting evidence must be submitted by the training provider can be found in MIN624: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/896789/MIN_624.pdf