The Worcester cadetship scheme – WMNCS – is the 2022 initiative of former Worcester cadets to make a significant contribution to the future of the maritime industries, both afloat and ashore. The scheme aims to sponsor at least two merchant marine officer cadets annually.

Designed to continue the legacy laid down by Thames Nautical Training College HMS Worcester, WMNCS is endowed with donations and legacies of former Worcester cadets, as well as generous contributions by individuals, charitable trusts and corporate entities. To reduce administrative costs, Worcester's is a Restricted Fund within the Trinity House Maritime Charity, thus avoiding the overheads of establishing and running a separate charity.

Worcester Merchant Navy Cadetship Scheme continues the tradition and ethos of Worcester, which recruited and inducted cadets to the merchant marine for more than 100 years. The Worcester ships – there were three in all, moored in the Thames – gave practical, vocational training to thousands of prospective merchant marine officers, in academic and nautical subjects. The strength of a Worcester cadetship was the instillation of integrity, leadership, self-reliance and self-discipline. In total, these qualities were recognised by the maritime authorities in granting a one-year remission of seatime service to Worcester graduates going to sea in the Merchant Navy. A significant number of cadets also continued into the Royal Naval Reserve and the RN itself.

Links between Worcester and Trinity House have traditionally been strong with an Elder Brother always on Worcester’s board, with the Corporation also sponsoring prizes in nautical subjects.

What Worcester achieved and what WMNCS aims to emulate is the foundation provided to our selected cadet recruits for a full career in the maritime sphere, afloat and ashore. Out of the thousands of Worcester alumni, many went on to fulfil long careers as the backbone of the shipping complex as surveyors, pilots, harbour masters, shipbrokers, marine insurers, and government officials, as well as those who continued at sea in command, not only in Britain but in maritime nations and fleets worldwide.

Worcester Merchant Navy Cadetship Scheme

By supporting WMNCS, contributors will directly assist in:
• preserving the quality and ethos of maritime officer training established by HMS Worcester
direct support to talented and committed British seafarer recruits
maritime education and training including STEM learning
continuing the excellent name and line of ‘Worcester’ seagoing officers and maritime leaders

Personal and corporate contributions and legacies will be fully recognised where appropriate in WMNCS literature. All donations are match-funded by our partnership with Trinity House and the British government’s SMarT support scheme for MN apprentices. Of the £68,000 cost of training one WMNCS cadet over their three-year, five phase, college and seagoing apprenticeship, direct contributions of £17k each from WMNCS and Trinity House are then consolidated with the SMarT grant of £34k. The Worcester cadetship fund is administered by the Association of Old Worcesters in partnership with Trinity House Maritime Charity (211869-23).

Contact Commodore Peter Melson (AOW vice chairman) at or phone 01489 878 728 for more detailed information on:

  • Donating directly
  • Legacies in favour of WMNCS
  • Cadetship applications