Seacat Upgrades Its UK Offshore Wind Training Programmes
Seacat Services has invested in training opportunities that will provide an entry point for young UK seafarers into the offshore wind sector.
The company has announced a considerable investment in its Maritime Apprenticeship scheme, and has committed to creating further training opportunities with the launch of dedicated Traineeship and Cadetship programmes.
The inaugural Seacat Services Maritime Apprenticeship scheme began in 2014 with over 200 applications from the local Isle of Wight Community and culminated in the graduation of 12 seafarers in September 2015, and the company has now started the recruitment process for its 2016-17 programme.
The renewal of the scheme reflects the growing requirement to establish a steady flow of new homegrown talent into the UK offshore wind industry. An influx of specialist personnel will be critical to realising the wider economic benefits of marine renewable energy development, fostering a strong domestic supply chain and addressing a skills gap that threatens the world-leading status of the UK market.
Seacat Services has worked with locally-based training provider Red Ensign and accredited apprenticeship specialist HTP Training to both refine the course and extend the reach of the scheme throughout the country.
New elements of the 2016-17 programme include the introduction of a 12-week Traineeship to afford 16 successful candidates the opportunity to gain an early taste of living and working at sea, prior to the commencement of the full 52-week Maritime Apprenticeship course. In addition, shore-based elements of the apprenticeship programme taking place at Red Ensign’s dedicated training centre in Cowes have now been significantly enhanced via the acquisition of a specialist training vessel, the MSV Explorer.
Following recent charter wins with DONG Energy at the Race Bank and Burbo Bank Extension projects off the East and West Coasts of the UK, Seacat Services will now draw candidates for the programme from the vicinity of these projects, in conjunction with the usual intake from the Isle of Wight and the South Coast.
Apprentices who successfully complete the course to achieve their Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies may subsequently be eligible for Seacat Services’ unique new Cadetship scheme, a more advanced 2-year course that provides a further opportunity for career progression within the business and sets participants on a track ultimately towards a Masters License.