Making a Successful Application with the SSTG.

The following guidance has been prepared for candidates who are considering making an application to the SSTG and should be read by every candidate before completing the online application process.

Eligibility Requirements

Make sure that you meet all the eligibility requirements for the programme you are applying for. Regretfully we are unable to consider any applicants that do not meet the specified programme entry requirements. 

Please note: The requirements specified are the ‘minimum requirements’. Higher qualifications are desirable and may in certain cases be required by some companies. You will not be accepted for training if you do not meet the required standard in full. Requirements will vary for Electro-Technical Officer Cadets, Engineer Officer Cadets and Deck Officer Cadets.

If you have any doubts about your eligibility you are advised to contact our recruitment team to discuss your position before applying.


Consider carefully who will be reviewing your application and what they may see as important. They will be looking for:

  • A Professional Approach: The role of a Ship’s Officer is a responsible position with crew members lives, cargo worth millions and ships worth hundreds of millions at stake. Do what you can to make your application look and read as ‘professional’ as possible.
  • No Abbreviations (or ‘Text Speak’): Do not use abbreviations as they detract from the ‘Professional’ approach that you are aiming for.
  • A Complete Application Form: Do not leave blank spaces as these do not generally leave a good impression. If a question is not relevant or not applicable, say so. If you do not have a passport say ‘No’ or ‘Not Held’. Most of the time almost anything is better than leaving a blank space which may leave the impression of a lack of attention to detail.

Your Personal Statement

This is a very important part of your application and gives you the opportunity to provide us with additional information on why you think we should consider your application ahead of others. At times of over-subscription your application is being considered against the many hundreds we receive each month and this is the opportunity to make yours stand out.

We cannot take information into account if you do not tell us, so consider carefully what achievements you have and how they demonstrate what you think we are looking for. Navigating large vessels requires accuracy and attention to detail, engineers need to be resourceful and have a mechanical aptitude. How do your prior achievements demonstrate what we are seeking in candidates and does this come across clearly in your personal statement?

We do not lay down hard and fast rules about the format or length of your personal statement but as a guide it should be approximately 250 words. Don’t miss this opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself as a potential candidate.

Personalise Your Application

Try and include responses within the application that will make it clear to the reader that your preference is to secure sponsorship from the company you are applying to, and not their nearest competitor.

The reader is likely to have many applications to consider and saying you have always wanted to work on container vessels, when sending an application to a tanker company, is one of the fastest ways to get to the bottom of the pile!

Stand By Your Application

Whilst we do ask for that little bit extra and for you to stand out from the crowd, you must also be carefully not to go overboard (excuse the pun!).

Making statements that could not possibly be true will not impress. Those statements that do impress are likely to be the subject of close scrutiny should you make it to the interview stage.

We expect candidates to present themselves well without saying anything that is untrue.

And Finally….

  • Spelling: This is not everyone’s strength but there is simply no excuse for spelling mistakes to be included on an application form. Draft what you want to say and get someone to check it for you (as a last resort, getting a computer to check it for you is better than nothing, if it’s set to UK English!).
  • Grammar: As per spelling mistakes, there is simply no acceptable excuse for bad grammar.

We hope that this information has been useful. To all candidates who take the required time to prepare a well-presented application and aspire to reach the highest standards, we hope that you will have done enough to secure an interview with us.

Whether you obtain sponsorship from SSTG for a career at sea or choose to pursue an alternative career, we wish you every success for the future.