Local apprentices graduate from P&O Ferries scheme to begin career at sea
P&O Ferries has celebrated five more apprentices graduating from the company's scheme on their way to becoming fully qualified seafarers.
Dover-based Jay Prescott and Jasper Weyland joined Deal locals Lewis Pearce, Ryan Christopher and George Lansdown on the prestigious course in 2015, winning their places from a shortlist of 60 applicants.
During their two year training programme, the five apprentices helped to sail P&O Ferries' 47,000 ton ships on the English Channel and also completed three spells of academic study at North Kent College in Gravesend.
The five are pictured after being presented with their Able Seafarer - Marine Training Level 2 certificates from Captain John Garner, P&O Ferries' Fleet Director, and Steve Watkins, Curriculum Manager at North Kent College.
All the apprentices are now full-time employees of P&O Ferries and all will continue to work towards becoming full Able Bodied Seafarers, the rank required for anyone to be able to work on most merchant ships.
Ryan Christopher, 24, who will be working as an Engine Room Rating, said: "It has been a great experience and I am very grateful for everything that P&O Ferries has given me. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my fellow apprentices."
Captain John Garner, Fleet Director at P&O Ferries, added: "We have been a major local employer for many years and Jay, Jasper, Lewis, Ryan and George are our seafarers of the future. The succession planning programme we have put in place means that this is only the start of their journey and they have an exciting career to look forward to. Being able to sail enormous 47,000 ton ships across the English Channel is an outstanding opportunity for all the young men and women on our apprenticeship scheme."
P&O Ferries' apprenticeships scheme has been running since 2014 and helps local people start a career at sea. The Dover-based employer's wider stakeholder programme offers visits to schools and colleges within the local community, a free initiative with the visit often tailored to school requirements and their current projects.