Training and investing in future employees is extremely important to us at the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group.

We currently sponsor four Merchant Navy cadets – two deck cadets and two engineering cadets – who are managed by a training partnership with Clyde Marine Training.

The cadetships are a three-year programme, which is funded by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company. They can be in one of three disciplines; deck, engineering or electro-technical and combine a mix of classroom-based learning and time on board Merchant Navy vessels understudying officers.

Our cadets are completing their classroom learning in the UK, but may be on board a vessel anywhere in the world gaining valuable experience. We’ve recently had cadets on board the RSS James Cook in Bermuda, an offshore supply ship, a bulk carrier and a general cargo vessel. Where possible, we prefer to have them training with us – as is currently the case with cadets Connor Norris and Elliot Pleven.

Once our cadets finish training, they will hold internationally-recognised qualifications that will allow them to become a member of a vessel’s crew anywhere in the world. These cadets can then go on to study further and gain more time at sea, eventually becoming a vessel’s master, chief engineer or choosing to work shoreside in the maritime industry. Cadets have gone on to work as lawyers, surveyors, insurers, lecturers and in port/vessel management.


Cadet Connor Norris

22-year-old Connor started his engineering cadetship in September 2019. He is training at Humber Maritime College and has spent the last four months on board Scillonian III.

Connor, who comes from a Naval family, said: “I missed out on a lot of my time as sea because of Covid, so I’m really pleased to be on Scillonian III now. I’m spending my time shadowing the engineering team, helping out with watches, maintenance, daily jobs and bunkering operations.

“It’s a hands-on job and a fascinating learning environment as it’s a very manual ship. I’m also living on board, so I’m getting the full experience. When I qualify, I want to be a 3rd engineer and my ambition is to become chief engineer within 10 years.”


Cadet Elliot Pleven

Elliot, 28, is just nine months into his course as a deck officer. He is training at Warsash Maritime Academy and is currently on board Scillonian III.

He spent five years as a submariner with the Royal Navy before deciding to change to a career in the Merchant Navy.

He said: “I decided I’d prefer to sail on the seas rather than underneath them, without any daylight or fresh air for months at a time.

“I’ve been with the Steamship Company for three months for the practical phase of my course, and I’ve been lucky enough to work on board Scillonian III and the Gry Maritha. It’s been amazing and I’ve learned so much. The crews have been so welcoming and the general community feel and atmosphere has been brilliant. I definitely made the right decision.”

Our other two cadets, Wade Taylor and James Brown, started training in September 2022.