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Our achievements and progress

The Thames Skills Academy (TSA) was established in 2016. Since then we have made a real difference by actively engaging with employers, meeting their training and development needs and promoting career opportunities on the tidal Thames. 


The TSA has signed up a number of employer members who between them represent over 70% of those working afloat in the Port of London. We are also now working with a range of potential supporters, affiliates and sponsors and have recruited key affiliate members.

Proposals for the expansion of the qualifications framework for tidal Inland Waterways (Category C & D Waters) have been accepted by the Maritime Skills Alliance and a Freight Working Group in support of our freight operator members, including the three marine contractors engaged in the Tideway Project, led by the TSA, has been established.

Passenger operator members have been supported through the establishment of a Passenger Working Group focusing on their specific training needs, both marine and non-marine, and a pool of TSA ‘Endorsed Training Providers’ from which to meet our members’ training and development needs has been identified.

The TSA has facilitated and delivered a variety of training courses and we continue to  work with providers in developing bespoke training in several areas to meet the needs of our members. In conjunction with one of our Endorsed Training Providers, we have developed and delivered a bespoke Riverside Personal Survival course for shore-based personnel engaged on the Tideway Project, working on, over or adjacent to the River.

Professional Memberships

The TSA is a member of:

Some of our apprentices on a site visit to the London Fire Brigade's River Thames Headquarters.


Exhibitions and events are the perfect way for us to engage with the industry. Our main promotion events are:

#CareersOnTheThames – a spectacular annual floating event which takes place onboard a boat on the Thames as part of the Totally Thames Festival. The event promotes careers to careers advisers, teachers, youth leaders and young (and older) people looking to learn more about working in the maritime industry.

National Apprenticeship Week – the TSA uses this week to promote the breadth of opportunities on the boatmaster and marine engineering apprenticeships we offer. 

Skills London Exhibition - promoting careers in the maritime industries, specifically the tidal Thames.

Seawork International Commercial Marine & Workboat Exhibition & Conference – promoting the TSA to a wider operator audience

National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships – promoting ‘Careers on the Thames’ to secondary school aged students.

John Hayes MP speaking at the TSA National Apprenticeship Week Event


Simon Lofting - South Essex College

"Until now employers have been sending apprentices to Southampton, Hull or the Isle of Wight for a marine engineering course.

Now we have successfully established a marine workshop and apprenticeship provision based in Essex, close to the M25, that can provide a realistic and resource-rich environment to allow apprentices to have a hands-on approach to marine engineering, whether for the leisure or commercial sector. 

This collaborative approach with the Thames Skills Academy has enabled us to start bridging the skills gap in industry.  We can provide the training and education whilst industry provides the practical experience. I embrace the opportunity of building the marine engineers of the future and continuing to working collaboratively with Thames Skills Academy." 


James Spikesley - Transport Strategy Manager - Tideway

“The TSA has done a fantastic job in developing a course which delivers exactly what is needed for the working environment of the Thames”




Adrian Cretu - MBNA Thames Clippers

"It is the knowledge almost everybody thinks they have until they attend this course!"

Iram Mirza - Tideway-Central

"Worthwhile! Really good training session - practical and theory.  I received encouragement throughout the pool session which really helped."

Paul Tidd - BAM Nuttall

"Great instruction and I will feel much more confident working around the water/river in the future."

Mark Warner - Bridgeway Consulting

"Good overall course, well worth everybody attending.  Will recommend to my dive team!"

William Williams - Rhicon Pliling

"Much better than expected.  Good course, instructor very friendly."

Thomas Edwards - MBNA Thames Clippers

"Great course, well presented.  Everyone on the river should do this course."

Ignacio Tognaccini - Tideway-Central

"The tutor was extraordinary!  Very useful course, totally recommend it!"


Chris McMahon - Tideway

"Excellent course! Simple message backed up with practical, very good training.  Valuable for all on project working on or near the water."

Gerry Copse - BAM Nuttall

"Both (tutors) were brilliant - best course I've been on!"


Danya Manwaring-Amphlett

May I pass on my sincere thanks to you and your team for all of the assistance you have given us. Trying to find out information re apprenticeships has been quite tough but you have made things so much easier offering advice so readily.  Its most reassuring to be contacted in a very short time scale for all email and telephone enquiries and I cant thank you enough for all of your help.

Also on a very positive note, again with thanks to your assistance, I am so thrilled to advise Jack has now been offered an apprenticeship for a boat masters licence with Livett's Launches.  He is absolutely chuffed to bits to be joining this company and we are now all looking forward to a very positive start to his career and for the rest of his 'at sea days'."