P&O Ferries apprentices mark success of company training scheme
SEVENTEEN apprentices from P&O Ferries' successful training scheme welcomed Dover District Councillor MJ Holloway to company HQ last week (31st January) to explain how the course was helping young people locally get into the workforce.
Councillor Holloway has responsibility for the council's skills portfolio and spoke with the apprentices to find out more about why they applied for the two-year course, how it works and what life is like on board one of P&O Ferries' 47,000 ton ships on the English Channel.
Councillor Holloway said: "I would like to thank everyone at P&O Ferries for extending this kind invitation to me. It's a great programme and the apprentices on it are impressive and inspirational for others."
Mike Willis, Learning and Development Advisor for P&O Ferries, added: "The apprentices were delighted to meet Councillor Holloway and explain what our scheme has done to help them. Being trained to help sail a 47,000 ton ship on the English Channel is an exceptional career opportunity and P&O Ferries is absolutely committed to help develop the seafarers of the future."
"We will be inviting new applications in the summer for next year's course, which will start in October. I would urge any men or women who are thinking of a career at sea to register their interest online."
P&O Ferries' apprenticeships scheme has been running since 2014 and has to date helped more than 30 local people start a career at sea. Of the 17 apprentices currently doing the course, 10 are studying to become what are known in seafaring as Deck Ratings, with responsibility for steering the ships, loading cars and look-out duties. The other seven are studying to become Engine Ratings, which entails working in the engine room and maintaining machinery.
All ten are employed on a Shoreside Learning Contract, whereby they travel daily onto the ships and have taster periods of living on board by way of preparation for when they are qualified. They also study for a diploma in maritime studies at North Kent College in Gravesend as part of the course.
P&O Ferries' 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.