Help for seafarers who want to come ashore

Industry cluster body Mersey Maritime partners with trade union Nautilus International to help seafarers make the transition to onshore careers. Tony McDonough reports

Sea to City will support seafarers who want to switch to a career onshore


Mersey Maritime is teaming up with trade union Nautilus International to offer seafarers a route to careers onshore.

Liverpool city region has been a global port for hundreds of years and has a long tradition of people seeking careers at sea. However, while seafaring can be a rewarding career many people eventually want to return to land-based jobs.

Making the transition can be a tricky passage. The Sea to City initiative aims to support those who want to make the transition. Nautilus has already achieved success on the project with Maritime London.

Now it is bringing Sea to City to the North West with the help of Mersey Maritime, the UK’s most successful maritime cluster body. It represents hundreds of businesses in Liverpool city region’s powerhouse £5bn maritime sector.

This project will highlight the job opportunities in the sector and the skills and qualifications needed to take advantage of them.

It will do this by developing a mentoring scheme for seafarers considering a move ashore, pairing them with relevant Mersey Maritime members or stakeholders who will be able to offer guidance and support throughout the process.

Sea to City North West will run annually from April to March with each intake providing mentoring and professional development support to Nautilus members looking to move ashore.

Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive at Mersey Maritime, said: “Promoting our people and businesses across our thriving industry sits at the heart of what Mersey Maritime does.

“We work closely with all our members to ensure they have access to the latest skills and training opportunities to help our industry succeed and prosper. 

“Retaining the skills and expertise of our seafarers as they move ashore is incredibly important. We know that some of our members will be fantastic mentors and will really champion their chosen mentee.”


Mark Dickinson
Mark Dickinson, general secretary of Nautilus International. Picture by Tony McDonough


Mersey Maritime members who work in maritime services are encouraged to come forward to provide advice and support and to apply to be mentors here. To register an interest, complete the form by clicking here.

Mark Dickinson, general secretary of Nautilus International, added: “Seafaring skills are in constant and high demand across the maritime professional services sector.

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“But a Nautilus International survey in 2019 found that many seafarers do not get much information from their employers on the opportunities that exist ashore.

“And most are unaware of what additional qualifications or training they might need to make the most of a career move, particularly during the transition to a more sustainable maritime industry.”

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