John H. Whitaker Tankers Ltd/SSTG Sponsorship for your Career at Sea in the

Merchant Navy


At Whitaker’s, we believe that an exceptionally dedicated and committed workforce is the key to our success.

As part of our investment into quality crewing, we sponsor a small number of officer cadets per year.

Our cadetships run in conjunction with the Ship Safe Training Group (SSTG).
For SSTG enquiries relating to Whitaker’s please contact Mr Steve Abrahart Ship Safe Training Group Ltd. The Precinct Office, The Precinct, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1SR Email:

In addition, we sponsor many of our own officers to improve their qualifications and therefore their promotion prospects within the company.
We strive to create a workforce that is professional, committed and forward-thinking.

Ship Safe Training Group (SSTG) work in partnership with Whitaker Tankers in recruitment of officer trainee cadets and overseeing the training and welfare of Whitaker Tankers cadets. If you are interested in a career at sea as a trainee officer cadet, please apply to SSTG using the link below.

SSTG Officer Trainees

Joining the Merchant Navy to enjoy a career at sea is certainly exciting but does inevitably raise some natural concerns for both the applicant and their relatives, especially when away from home studying or on-board ship.

The SSTG has 40 years’ experience in delivering comprehensive practical and personal support to Deck, Engineer and ETO Cadet Officer Trainees and have worked in partnership with John H. Whitaker Tankers Ltd. for over a decade.

Training Allowance

Officer Cadets receive a financial allowance which is spread throughout your training and paid monthly.  

Support at College

You will be assigned an experienced SSTG Training Officer who will keep a watching brief on your progress as you undertake your time at college. This comprehensive support covers your entire period of college education and is provided to coordinate all of your training needs, to help with any studying difficulties you may experience, and to provide personal assistance where required.

Support at Sea

Officer Cadets are required to undertake sea service on vessels operated by Whitaker Tankers. Travel costs to and from each vessel will be reimbursed. All of your training and living costs whilst on-board are also provided for.

When aboard ship your welfare will continue to be actively monitored by Whitaker Tankers and SSTG. Your Training Officer will assist with everything from applying for visas to organising your personal identity papers. This includes your all-important Discharge Book, which records details of your sea service throughout your career in the Merchant.

To find out more about this exciting career please use the hyperlinks below:


Entry requirements:

Application form:

Merchant Navy Info:   

Case studies: DECK  

Case studies: ENGINEER

Case studies: ETO                         

What is the Merchant Navy?

The British Merchant Navy is the name for all civilian commercial ships and seafarers registered in the United Kingdom.

95% of everything that arrives in this country comes by sea and is brought in by the Merchant Navy.

A Merchant Navy Officer’s career comes with excellent career development opportunities and involves a diverse skillset.

Roles onboard a merchant navy vessel


Deck Officers navigate the ship at sea, and control the ships operations – most commonly cargo loading and discharge.

Skills include learning to handle a ship in confined waters, often with a minimal margin for error.


Engineers operate, maintain and repair the vessel’s machinery, and maintain a watch over the engine room. An engineer will ensure the ship’s machinery is operated to maximum efficiency.


Some larger merchant navy vessels also offer opportunities for electro – technical officers, hospitality and catering, and entertainment.

Academic requirements

Minimum of 4 GSCE’s: –

Maths, English and Combined Science


Personal attributes



Ability to use own initiative

Ability to work (and live) within a close-knit team

A good level of physical fitness

N.B. You must meet minimum standards relating to eyesight and hearing. Certain medical conditions may also exclude you.


01482 595320