Seaman recruitment agencies typically work with transport clients to place ordinary or able seaman into vacancies on cruise ships. A seaman is recruited by a cruise ship's deck department and will usually be responsible for maintenance, lookout and operation duties.
Entry-level candidates will be hired as an ordinary seaman and will have to accrue a significant amount of 'sea time' before being considered for a more senior role. Ordinary seamen (OS) will report to the boatswain and carry out tasks such as cleaning, repairs and helping prepare for departures and mooring. Experience and the passing of examinations can see staff promoted to title of able seaman (AB). Able seaman may occasionally assist in the maintenance of the ship but will also complete navigation, lookout and machine operation duties.
Although a high level of credentials isn't necessarily required for seaman jobs, seaman recruitment firms will search for candidates with GCSEs in Maths, English and Science. Applicants looking to further strengthen their position in the market might wish to consider gaining specific qualifications in areas such as catering, logistics, transport or engineering. On the job training will be provided for ordinary seaman and those wanting to rise to the next grade will need to attain an Efficient Deckhand Certificate before being granted an Able Seaman Certificate. Lifeboat and safety qualifications will also be needed. Entry salaries for seaman in the UK tends to be between £10K-£15K, however gaining AB or management status can see this become £28K+.
A seaman recruitment agency will conduct skill and qualification checks to ensure that candidates are a perfect match for their cruise ship clients' maritime vacancies. Successful candidates will be able to work as part of a crew, demonstrate manual dexterity and have a high level of fitness. Only applicants who pass a consultants' pre-assessment checks will receive positive contact from cruise ship employers.