THE Maritime Charities Group (MCG), Trinity House, Nautilus Slater Fund and the Merchant Navy Welfare Board have announced the extension of the MCG Redundancy and Retraining Bursary Fund until the end of this year.
The fund, which is administered by the Marine Society on behalf of MCG, provides extra cash for training and refresher courses and is aimed at merchant seafarers who’ve lost work due to COVID-19 and want to stay in the industry. 48 applications have been approved since the fund was launched last November and over £20k awarded in grants, but another £20k is still available.
Chair of MCG, Commander Graham Hockley LVO RN explained:
“The fund was due to close at the beginning of May, but with furlough coming to an end in September and many jobs under threat, the need for this kind of support hasn’t gone away. With no government funding available for seafarer retraining, it makes sense to extend the scheme.”
The charities want to spread the word, especially to ratings, ferry crew and female seafarers. Commander Hockley continued:
“The response so far has been really good but less so from ratings, ferry crew and women. Our message to these groups, and to any other UK-based seafarer who’s lost work due to the pandemic, is that the MCG bursary could help you get back into employment or retrain for a new role in the industry. It covers everything from certificate renewal to writing job applications, from retraining to interviewing skills. Just go to the Marine Society website and apply today.”
Applicants can claim up to £500 towards training or qualifications of their choice. To find out more about the MCG Redundancy and Retraining Bursary Fund and how to apply, go to