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BMF - British Marine Federation

02/10/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/11/2021 09:31

[Member News] UKSA launches new Offshore Energy Support Vessel Apprenticeship Programme in association with Seacat Services and the Isle of Wight College

Published on: 10 February 2021

In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week this week, offshore energy support vessel (OESV) operator Seacat Services (Seacat) is delighted to launch its third Apprenticeship Programme, in conjunction with UKSA and the Isle of Wight College, to provide training for a career in the offshore renewable energy sector.

The two-year, government funded programme is designed to give twelve apprentices all the bespoke skills, knowledge and behaviours required to work as a crewmember in the rapidly expanding offshore renewable energy sector.

Starting in April 2021, the twelve selected apprentices will undertake an initial four-week training programme at UKSA in Cowes, before learning on the job on one of Seacat's OESVs on a three-week on, three-week off rotation. On completion of the apprenticeship and the end point assessment, there will be the opportunity of full-time employment with the maritime operator.

OESVs play a key role in the development and operation of offshore wind projects, transporting technicians and equipment between site and shore. Successful apprentices will learn Seacat Services' core operating values of safety, availability and reliability, which are fundamental to effective vessel support.

Chris Frisby, Director of Training and Operations at UKSA, comments: 'The theme for this year's National Apprenticeship Week is 'Build the Future' and this is very much in line with UKSA's ethos of providing training pathways that create exciting, long-term maritime career opportunities. With the backdrop of COVID, never has it been so important to provide opportunities for employment for our young people whose futures have been so severely impacted. So, I am delighted to be launching this fully funded programme for twelve students this year and my aim is to broaden this workboat apprenticeship scheme in 2022 to welcome more young people onto the programme.'

He continues: 'The new programme represents a fantastic opportunity for students. Over the course of the two years, the apprentices will obtain no less than ten industry recognised qualifications from STCW Navigational Watch certification through to food preparation and hygiene, ensuring they are fully prepared for an exciting career path.'

Andy Calderbank-Link, Operations Director at Seacat, says: 'We're proud to be providing new opportunities for homegrown talent to be developed. These apprentices will be amongst the first generation of truly specialist offshore wind support crews in the UK. Offshore renewables are now a bona fide career choice for young people, and the apprenticeship scheme will train recruits to the highest possible standard - providing a key point of entry into the sector, and a clear path for progression.'

The programme follows the Workboat Crewmember Apprenticeship specification launched by the Workboat Association in 2018 to drive training initiatives for the next generation of workboat crews.

Kerrie Forster, Chief Executive Officer at the Workboat Association, adds: 'With this scheme, the UKSA, Isle of Wight College and Seacat Services are building on a fantastic local heritage of supplying highly trained crew and specialist vessels to support the UK's highly successful offshore wind market. This mirrors the picture we're seeing across the country as the UK workboat sector gears up to meet growing demand and ensures that young people are able to benefit from this booming industry.'

Recruitment for the apprenticeship scheme will begin in February 2021, and apprentices must be aged between 18-25, pass the MCA's ENG 1 medical and be a resident on the Isle of Wight to be considered for the apprenticeship programme. To apply, visit the UKSA website here.