Roch PR has been working with leading ferry operator DFDS as it launched its new apprenticeship scheme.
This is the sixth programme of apprenticeships the company has offered and it hopes the scheme will deliver the ships captains and chief engineers of the future. DFDS was the first UK ferry company to offer these ratings-level apprenticeships.
Nine new apprentices from east Kent who dream of a seafaring career were formally welcomed to DFDS at a celebration lunch at the Dover Marina Hotel on Monday 7 October 2019.
The new recruits heard from DFDS Vice President of Human Resources and Crewing, Gemma Griffin, that there was no limit to the careers they could forge for themselves. She told them: ‘Future captains and chief engineers are here in this room. You can go all the way in this organisation and we have a lot of examples of that in DFDS.’
Ms Griffin began the DFDS apprenticeship programme in 2012 after a staff survey revealed a need for new recruits. They decided to try to attract people in the Dover area to introduce them to the variety of careers and opportunities within DFDS. Apprentices who meet the behaviour and standards criteria as well as passing their courses are guaranteed jobs with DFDS at the end.
For the first time this year, external applicants were invited to spend a week doing work experience at sea to find out if they would be suitable. The week at sea proved to work for both DFDS and the apprentices.
Seventeen year old Eliot Worsell from Elms Vale, Dover, told Roch PR: ‘I enjoyed it so much after that week I knew I wanted to have this career and signed up as soon as I could. I want to go as far as possible with my career, there’s no limit.’
The group of nine divide into five deck and four engine apprentices. The deck scheme enables trainees to become fully qualified Able Bodied Seafarers. The engine scheme enables workshop skills with the ultimate goal to become a Fitter.
To qualify, recruits had to: –
· Live in Dover or surrounding areas
· Aged between 17 years and 6 months and 24 years
· Minimum of Grade C in GCSE Maths and English/Functional Skills
· Medically fit and able to pass a Medical Fitness Test
· Willing to live on board and live away from home during College phase
The MNTB (Merchant Navy Training Board) designed Apprenticeship course is a two-year training programme which gives students the foundations for a career at sea. It begins with classroom courses on aspects of seamanship and workshop scenarios based at North Kent College. During this apprenticeship, the students spend significant periods of time at sea, maintaining the safety and security of the vessel, cargo and personnel on board, and undertaking a range of practical seafarer skills covering rope work, anchoring and mooring activities and operations.
Roch PR will continue to work with DFDS over the coming months to promote the apprenticeship scheme and follow the progress of the new recruits.