The Company of Watermen and Lightermen, 16 - 18 St-Mary-at-Hill, London, EC3R 8EF
Telephone: (+44) 020 7283 2373 Fax: (+44) 020 7283 0477 E-mail:

Training Today

For almost 500 years the Watermen’s Company has been engaged in the binding, training and licensing of young people looking for a career on the River Thames. The current working licences are issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency but the Company still offers training across the whole range of Boatmaster activities and beyond.

Since its inception in 1514, the Company’s main objective has been to provide the river community with experienced, well trained individuals who are able to safely take charge of a variety of vessels across a wide spectrum of operations from the towing of large sections of the Millennium Eye to providing boatmen to follow annual rowing races on the Thames. It is an objective that the Company enthusiastically supports to this day. In 2012 22 apprentices were taken on and so far in 2013 a further 14 have been accepted.

10 Reasons why you should choose the Watermen’s Company

• The Company facilitates Boat Master’s Licence (BML) training with well placed professional tutors at an affordable price.

• The Company is constantly reviewing the training market to secure the best quality  product.

• The Company will undertake regular audits of MCA BML Task Record Books to advise  individuals on the best path to exam success

• The Company will provide careers advice from a BML professional engaged in all  types of river work.

• The Company will organise specialist endorsement exam preparation from an Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA)  approved examiner including Thames Local Knowledge, General Passenger, Large  Passenger and Towing and Pushing.

• The Company provides mock generic exam days prior to MCA examination including the practical boat test.

• The Company has access to a large network of river operators to ensure that all  potential candidates gain the right amount of work experience.

• The Company works with trade voluntary groups who offer their time and resources for the education of apprentices and trainees.

• The Company has the continuing support of all river stakeholders to assist them with their training requirements.

• The Company liaises with regulatory bodies on training and safety matters.

Are you interested? Do you think you are made of the right stuff?  

If so  call our Training officer - Alex Hickman

We look forward to your joining us soon