Apprenticeships with RNLI

There are a range of RNLI Apprenticeship roles available in various departments and locations within the organisation. RNLI Apprenticeship roles are available at many locations all around the UK and Ireland.

RNLI lifeboat crews protect hundreds of communities around the UK and Ireland, with a 24-hour search and rescue service. To do so, they rely on the safest, most reliable lifeboats and modern stations to launch from. There are over 350 lifeboats in the RNLI fleet based at more than 230 lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland.

These include four along the River Thames: Chiswick, Gravesend, Teddington, and Tower Bridge. Ther are also four inland lifeboat stations at Enniskillen, Loch Ness, Lough Derg, and Lough Ree, as well as trial stations at Stonehaven and Union Hall. Between them, RNLI lifeboats cover 19,000 miles of coastline and some busy inland stretches of water.

The RNLI’s specialist Flood Rescue team is made up of 250 volunteers from across the RNLI, including lifeboat crew and operational staff, all specially trained in swift water rescue. Flood Rescue volunteers are strategically placed within 16 regional flood rescue teams so that they can reach anywhere in the UK and Ireland within 6 hours.

In addition, fifty members of the team are also trained to respond to flooding emergencies around the world within 24 hours. The Flood Rescue team includes doctors, paramedics, logisticians, linguists, HGV and forklift drivers and mechanics. These volunteers are all ordinary people doing extraordinary things with skills that are invaluable for flood relief work, particularly in disaster zones and developing countries.

Furthermore, the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in RNLI museums, shops and offices all across the country.

RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI lifeboats fall into two categories: all-weather lifeboats and inshore lifeboats. The different lifeboat classes within these categories means the RNLI can reach people in all kinds of situations and locations.

The type of lifeboat a station has depends on geographical features, the kind of rescues the station expects to see locally, as well as the cover provided by neighbouring lifeboat stations. All-weather lifeboats are capable of high speed and can operate safely in all weather conditions. They are inherently self-righting after a capsize and fitted with navigation, location and communication equipment.

Inshore lifeboats usually operate closer to shore, in shallower water, near cliffs, rocks and even in caves. The RNLI also has inshore rescue hovercraft for areas conventional lifeboats cannot reach, such as mud flats and river estuaries.

Roles Available with RNLI

There are a range of RNLI Apprenticeship roles available in various departments and locations within the organisation. For example:

  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Information Technology

However, candidates interested in an RNLI Apprenticeship should check the RNLI website for details of current vacancies, because the range of programmes and number of vacancies vary each year.

Education Requirements for RNLI

The Education Requirements for an RNLI Apprenticeship will depend on the specific vacancy for which you are applying. However, here are some general guidelines:

Level 2 Apprenticeships: 3 GCSEs including English and Maths

Level 3 Apprenticeships: 3 A Levels


Candidates interested in an RNLI Apprenticeship should check the RNLI website for details of the Education Requirements for current vacancies.

When can I apply for an apprenticeship at RNLI?

The RNLI Apprenticeship scheme usually opens for applications in March each year. However, candidates interested in an RNLI Apprenticeship should check the RNLI website because roles are sometimes available at other times of the year.


To find an RNLI station near you, click here.

To find out more about this Apprenticeship at RNLI register now:

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