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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 you as a Mentee?

Once accepted onto the mentoring scheme, you 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. 

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. 

If you are over 21,you will join as an Associate of the Company, and would not be formally indentured with the City of London. There is no significant difference in these two types of membership and both can fully engage with the scheme and the wider Honourable Company.

Throughout your time as a Mentee, you will be asked to agree to:

  • Engage in regular contact with your Mentor so they can track your progress and support you when needed
  • Complete a quarterly report to allow the Honourable Company to keep up-to-date with your career and keep an overview of the entire Mentoring Scheme
  • Visit HQS Wellington to attend events or seminars when leave periods allow
  • Engage in all that HCMM do, including the activities of the Young Officers Committee
  • 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 HCMM surveys and requests for feedback on industry related topics
  • Be a good ambassador for HCMM, our Mentoring Scheme and the Maritime Industry as a whole

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
  • Technical information from the Honourable Company Journal and monthly 'Mentee Matters' emails
  • 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
  • An 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.
  • A £250 HCMM and Howard Leopold Davis Charity Award will be issued on the successful completion of your OOW Certificate of Competency to celebrate this key milestone in your career.

Applying for the Scheme

If you are interested in becoming a mentee, the application process is simple. It starts with completing an application online via our website by clicking here.

Once an application has been received, our Education & Outreach Manager will make contact with you to organise a short interview to get to know who you are and your career aspirations. 

Once all stages of the application process have been approved, you will be invited to HQS Wellington, in London, where you will complete a Declaration Ceremony and enjoy a day at our unique Livery Hall.