Build a lifesaving career with the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is announcing its new apprenticeship vacancies today, coinciding with the launch of the government’s 12th annual National Apprenticeship Week.

RNLI apprentice Boatbuilder Eoin O'Connor stood in front of Shannon class lifeboat in production

RNLI/Jennifer Clough

RNLI apprentice Boatbuilder Eoin O'Connor
The lifesaving charity has a range of apprenticeship vacancies, including the opportunity to train and work as a Marine Technician, with various specialisms available. Successful applicants will get the chance to work on the RNLI’s innovative Shannon-class lifeboat – the newest in the fleet – which is manufactured at the charity’s All-Weather Lifeboat Centre (ALC) in Poole. On average, six lifeboats are built there every year.

The charity is also offering the chance to join its editorial team as a Junior Content Producer, which would include the opportunity to write for its supporter magazine Lifeboat, read by approximately 190,000 people.

The RNLI has been offering apprenticeship opportunities for approximately 30 years at its Inshore Lifeboat Centre on the Isle of Wight and, more recently, at its All-Weather Lifeboat Centre and headquarters in Poole, with many of the apprentices going on to get permanent jobs with the organisation.

Successful applicants will join the RNLI’s 49 existing apprentices, who include trainee Solicitors, IT apprentices, Marketing apprentices, as well as Marine Technicians specialising in Boat Building, Electrical, Electronics, and Mechanical.

Eoin O’Connor, apprentice Boatbuilder at the ALC said, ‘The RNLI is a really unique organisation: it’s a charity, that’s also an emergency service that builds its own lifeboats.

‘It’s been great being involved in the different stages of producing a lifeboat, and learning what goes on behind the scenes to help save lives at sea. It’s a real privilege working on some of the most state-of-the-art lifeboats in the world, and knowing that these will go on to help save lives.’

Lynne Mason, Apprenticeship and Early Careers Manager for the RNLI, said, ‘Apprenticeships are really important for the RNLI, and have proven their value to us for nearly three decades. Our apprentices bring with them new ideas and fresh perspectives.

‘Our apprenticeships offer opportunities to those starting their careers, and those looking for a career change, as well as providing people with the opportunities and skills they need to help us continue saving lives at sea. Apprenticeships are also a good opportunity to help develop our existing staff, and this is something we hope to explore further once our pilot programmes have completed.’

Last year, the RNLI began piloting a new Project Management apprenticeship, and a Facilities Management apprenticeship, for existing staff – demonstrating the charity’s commitment to professional development.

Apprenticeship vacancies go live on on 4 March, to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week.

Notes to editors

· High-resolution photos of RNLI apprentice Boatbuilder Eoin O’Connor, and inside the charity’s All-Weather Lifeboat Centre (where successful applicants to the charity’s Marine Technician apprenticeships vacancies will be working) attached.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please Jennifer Clough, RNLI Press Officer at and 01202 336789.

RNLI apprentice Eoin O'Connor working on a Shannon class lifeboat

RNLI/Jennifer Clough

RNLI apprentice Eoin O'Connor working on a Shannon class lifeboat
RNLI apprentice Boatbuilder Eoin O'Connor standing in front of inshore lifeboats on the water

RNLI/Jennifer Clough

RNLI apprentice Boatbuilder Eoin O'Connor
The RNLI's All-Weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole in the sunshine

RNLI/Jennifer Clough

The RNLI's All-Weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.