Careers & Training



At Sea 
There are a wide variety of careers involved in keeping people and vessels safe, both at sea and in ports and harbours. 

In the UK the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has a leading role in safety at sea – “We work together with our partners and stakeholders to prevent the loss of life at sea and on the coast in the UK. We produce legislation on maritime matters and guidance to help follow the rules. 
Whatever skills you may have, we can support you in developing a rewarding career whilst making a difference and contributing to saving lives.” 

At Work 
Every employer in the maritime industry needs to look after the safety of their work force. Many organisations and companies employ people to look after that area, usually called Health and Safety Advisers.  

Before commercial vessels can go to sea, they need to be suitable for the job they are doing. They must be inspected and get a certificate to say they comply with maritime regulations. 

All UK owned Small Commercial Vessels must comply with the relevant Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Codes of Practice. To get their certificate the vessel will be inspected by a marine surveyor. This is a rewarding and varied career – see Marine Surveyor

Qualifications & Training 

At Sea 
The MCA offers job and career opportunities at all levels, whether you are leaving school, college or university.  Jobs include Maritime Operations officer, Coastguard, Marine Surveyor, administration and IT. 

At Work 
You can do a degree or postgraduate diploma recognised by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. 
You'll usually need: 
2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree 
a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course 

You can do an advanced apprenticeship as a safety, health and environment technician. 
It takes about 24 months to complete and allows you to become: 
a technical member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health 
an affiliate member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment 
You'll usually need: 
5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship. 
4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship 

You could study for a health and safety qualification while you're working or to improve your chances of finding a trainee position. You can take approved health and safety courses through: 

British Safety Council 

The MCA employs Marine Surveyors and offers career opportunities at all levels, whether you are leaving school, college or university.  
See Marine Surveyor for more information. 

Salary Brackets

For a Coastguard salary is £20,000 - £30,000 
Health and Safety Adviser £22,000 - £50,000


Safety at Work 

British Safety Council 

Institute of Occupational Safety and Health 


Intermediate apprenticeships Advanced apprenticeships Higher apprenticeships Degree apprenticeships
Intermediate apprenticeships are the entry-level apprenticeship for those looking to make a start in the world of work. Available to anyone from the age of 16, with no maximum age limit, they’re also a great option for anyone looking to make a career change. You’ll need five GCSEs grade A*-E/ 3-9 including Maths and English, as well as a Science subject to apply for an engineering or technical role, or two National 4s including Maths and English (or equivalent). You can apply for an advanced apprenticeship if you have five GCSEs or National 4 (or equivalent), including Maths and English, as well as a Science subject to apply for an engineering or technical role, or you’ve completed an intermediate apprenticeship or similar Level 2 qualification. They’re full-time roles, with a competitive salary and they’re a great way to develop specialist skills. Higher apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 18 who is looking for an alternative to attending university. You’ll need at least five GCSEs or National 5 + Highers (or equivalent) including Maths and English, as well as a Science subject to apply for an engineering or technical role. Additionally, you’ll require a minimum of two A levels or a level 3 equivalent qualification. Degree apprenticeships are great for 18–19-year-old school leavers looking to gain a degree while also starting their career journey. It’s the perfect option for those who can’t decide between an apprenticeship and university. They’re also a great option for anyone looking to make a career change.


British Safety Council


United Kingdom





NAME: Chris Grieve
Do you need qualifications for your job?    
Yes, I have my Diploma in Health & Safety. It is preferable to have some sort of safety qualification when carrying out a safety job as it helps you to understand what you are dealing with and looking at.

How long did it take you to get to your current role?    
This wasn’t my original line of work; I started off as a Mechanical Technician in the oil and gas industry. When the opportunity arose for a trainee job in safety, I thought I would give it a go.

Why did you choose your industry?    
I chose to work at the Harbour as it is local and I am a local lad who has stayed in Fraserburgh all my days. The opportunities that exist within the Harbour were a massive pull.  

Did anyone inspire you to follow this career?    
No, but some of my family members have worked within the fishing industry and being local I have always been intrigued by it.

Are you able to say what is a typical salary band for your position?    
What time do you start and finish work?    
I work 8 -4.30 Monday to Thursday and 8 – 3.30 on a Friday.

Do you need to make any preparations for the day? Do you have to work outside normal working hours and/or from home?    
My normal day starts with me walking to work; this helps to make sure I have a clear head every morning. Normally first thing I do is make a coffee, then check my emails. 
This then decides what is on the agenda for the day, along with dipping into any ongoing project I may be working on. 
I often have to walk around the Harbour, taking in all ongoing operations and making sure our workers are working safely and following correct procedures. 

Where will you be based? Is this where you would usually work?    
I am based in the Harbour office. 

Is there a dress code for your work?    
Yes, smart casual. 

Do you need any special equipment to do your job?    

What do you do as soon as you get to work?    
Check my emails, to see if anything had occurred since I left previous day.

What are your key tasks today?    
To review risk assessments for tasks being carried out in our facilities, I have had to speak with contractors and stakeholders. 

How much time do you spend at a desk?    
It varies.  Some days I could be at my desk most of the day and some days I could be out reviewing a task, but normally 85% of the time is desk work.

Do you work in a team?
Yes, I work alongside the HSEQ Manager.

What are the highlights of your day?    
Walking around the Harbour on very nice days is always a highlight and also helping others - whether that be staff or stakeholders - to look at safety elements of tasks in a different light to help continuous improvement. 

What are the biggest challenges?    
Trust ports are very different culturally and organisationally, in comparison to the types of business I have worked in before

What advice would you give someone looking to work in your role?    
Always continue to be a sponge, look to learn as much as you can. The more knowledge and experience you have the better it will serve you in the long term. 
2024 DATES 2025 DATES 2026 DATES

Tuesday 11 June 2024
Wednesday 12 June 2024
Thursday 13 June 2024

Tuesday 10 June 2025
Wednesday 11 June 2025
Thursday 12 June 2025

Tuesday 09 June 2026
Wednesday 10 June 2026
Thursday 11 June 2026


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