What is the Mentoring Scheme?
Through this voluntary service, the Honourable Company offers support, encouragement, advice and assistance to the mentees as they progress through the various stages of their career, starting as a Cadet. It is widely recognised that the Honourable Company possesses a wealth of maritime knowledge together with considerable specialist expertise that can be handed down to those aspiring to be ships’ officers in the Merchant Navy. Freemen and Liverymen of the Honourable Company who volunteer to become mentors are provided with information about the scheme to enable them to support the Apprentices and Associates. The encouragement and support continues as they progress with their career at sea and, possibly into the wider maritime world in the United Kingdom and globally, helping to preserve the heritage and traditions of the British Merchant Navy both now and into the future. Whilst the mentoring relationship, is fundamentally informal, the legal complexities of modern life require that the scheme exhibits a degree of formality ensuring an auditable trail that provides protection for the mentee, mentor and the Honourable Company.
What is expected of a Mentee?
Once accepted onto the mentoring scheme, a mentee will be allocated a mentor, who as far as possible will have a shared interest with you in terms of ship types and trades or area of residence. Whilst most communication is via email and social media, being able to meet face-to-face on occasion is undoubtedly of great benefit. As far as possible your Master will have a special shared interest with you in terms of ship types and trades, friends or area of residence.
If you join as an Apprentice (under 21 at time of joining) you will be “bound” to your Master (a Liveryman of the Honourable Company) through a traditional City of London indenture which has full Guildhall recognition, allowing entry to the Freedom and Livery in due course “by Servitude”. You will find the ancient wording of the “Indenture” rather old-fashioned and quaint, but that is because it is linked back to the London Craft Guilds of the Middle Ages. Over 21, Cadets join as an Associate of the Company, and would not be formally indentured, but that is the only difference.
Up to the time of obtaining your OOW certificate of competency, you will be asked to agree to:
- Keep a journal recording observations on professional topics (ideally at least one entry per week)
- Write to your Master at least once every six months
- Respond to HQ requests for information, which can be submitted electronically via your membership profile on the website
- Visit HQS Wellington if leave periods allow
Note: Entry into the Honourable Company Essay Competition each year is voluntary. A prize will be awarded for the winning entry.
From OOW through to Masters you will be expected to:
- Continue to keep a journal
- Enter the annual essay (or other project) competition (Note: Entry into the Honourable Company Essay Competition each year is voluntary. A prize will be awarded for the winning entry)
- Respond to HQ requests for information, which can be submitted electronically through the website
- Visit HQS WELLINGTON if leave periods allow
The Benefits for Mentees
- another experienced person to turn to for professional advice
- support and encouragement at the most testing time in formulating your career structure and path
- non-judgemental advice and assistance in any time of adversity
- technical information from the Honourable Company Journal
- access to experience in most maritime matters through the Honourable Company via your mentor
- a long term, broad and balanced vision of professional development and career options
- contacts with maritime and commercial activities beyond the immediate confines of your own ship or college
- introduction to the Honourable Company and good professional practice
- an introduction to the Master Mariners’ respected role in the social and city life of London
- an introduction to the charitable work of the Honourable Company and the help it can give to seafarers and their dependants.
Applying for the Scheme
If you are interested in becoming a mentee, you can find more information here.