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First Wave of Seacat Services Apprentices Graduate

Posted by September 23, 2015

  • Photo courtesy of Seacat Service
  • Photo courtesy of Seacat Service
  • Photo courtesy of Seacat Service Photo courtesy of Seacat Service
  • Photo courtesy of Seacat Service Photo courtesy of Seacat Service
Press release - Offshore energy support vessel operator Seacat Services announced the graduation of the first group of young seafarers from its Maritime Apprenticeship program.
 
The graduates have taken the first step toward long-term careers in the offshore energy sector and will now discuss future career opportunities with Seacat Services.
 
The yearlong apprenticeship program, which was introduced last year and is set to continue with a fresh 2015/16 intake, seeks to address a skills shortage in U.K. offshore renewables and buck a trend that has seen overseas developers and contractors dominate in many key areas of the domestic industry. The program trains seafarers for Seacat Services’ expanding fleet of 10 offshore energy support vessels (21-26 meters) that work primarily between the East Coast of the U.K., Germany, Holland and Denmark.
 
This year’s scheme saw 200 applicants from the local community on the Isle of Wight. The success of the Seacat Services apprenticeship program is an illustration of the strength of the offshore wind supply chain that has been built in the region. Despite the recent refusal of the Navitus Bay offshore wind farm, the island is well positioned to meet the demands of servicing the U.K. and wider European markets.
 
The graduates started the program in September 2014, working towards a Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies, and have now achieved the qualification after significant training and sea time. The 52-week program was delivered through Red Ensign and supported by apprenticeship specialist HTP Training.
 
Shore-based elements of the apprenticeship training took place at Red Ensign’s dedicated maritime training center in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. During the workplace phase of the training, apprentice deckhands were accommodated on the vessels under the mentorship of the vessel’s Master and Mate, in rotations of three weeks at sea.
 
Andrew Dale, Red Ensign’s Managing Director, said, “I strongly believe that apprenticeships are the way forward for the merchant shipping industry and its wonderful to see our collaboration with Seacat Services come to fruition. The success of this first group of apprentices should pave the way for many more young people to be introduced to this exciting industry.”
 
George Turpin, one of the apprentices graduating today said, “This was an incredible opportunity to get hands-on experience of a sector I’d always been interested in but didn’t know the way into. We got so much support from the seafarers around us and the support team offshore and we’ve developed some great relationships as a result.”
 
In January, Seacat Services will launch a cadetship scheme to run in conjunction with the apprenticeship program. The cadetship provides a further opportunity for career progression within the growing firm and will propel ambitious participants towards their Masters License.
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