The British Tugowners Association (BTA) is delighted to announce that it has launched a new award recognising and celebrating the future talent of the towage industry.

The BTA’s Tug Trainee of the Year Award, kindly sponsored for Sanmar Shipyards, is now live and open for nominations, and will award its first recipient at the BTA’s Annual Conference and Dinner on 1 May 2024.

The BTA would like to celebrate and honour trainees, and recently certificated candidates working in the UK towage sector who have shown exceptional dedication and attitude to their learning and career development.

Whether displaying academic or professional excellence, demonstrating determination or resilience, or overcoming personal difficulties or adversity, the BTA is looking for nominations across its membership from towage operators, crewing agencies, or training providers and colleges for suitable candidates.

Full details of the terms of eligibility and scope of the award can be viewed via the form below.

Nominations and guidance are being provided through partnership with the Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC).

Towage is vital and critically important to the current and future prosperity of the UK, and trainees, whether pursuing a career in towage to remain in the small vessel sector or continue on their certification progression to Master or Chief Engineer Unlimited, deserve recognition and praise for their efforts.

The BTA is sincerely thankful to Sanmar Shipyards for their generosity in a multi-year sponsorship support to establish the award, not just for 2024, but for the next five years to 2028.

Nick Jeffery, Chairman of the British Tugowners Association, commented:

We are delighted to launch this initiative, with specific thanks to Sanmar Shipyards for their kind sponsorship to enable it. The award will provide our members with the opportunity to recognise a trainee’s journey through to its conclusion and reward them for their efforts – which could be in their academic or personal achievements.

As in every sector of the merchant maritime industry, the towage sector is evolving, with new or revised training schemes becoming available, designed to match the changes. It is as important as ever that we attract seafarers who will take our industry forwards and recognising their professional achievement is a great way to support all their hard work in doing so.”

Ruchan Civgin, Commercial Director of Sanmar Shipyards, commented:

“We at Sanmar are delighted to be sponsoring the British Tugowners Association’s Tug Trainee of the Year Award. The tug and towage industry are going through significant changes and the people currently undergoing training and who will join in years to come, are a vital part of our industry’s future.

The skills and knowledge they are learning will drive forward the fundamental changes that will lead us to a safer, cleaner, and sustainable tug and towing industry. They have an exciting future ahead of them and we at Sanmar are proud to support the BTA through recognising future talent and leading the way ahead.”

Queries should be directed to Robert Merrylees,