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P&O Ferries recruits six new apprentices on board its Dover to Calais ships

P&O Ferries has increased the number of Deck and Engine Room Rating Apprentices on its Dover to Calais ships.

The company operates an extensive apprenticeship programme set up in conjunction with the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB), which combines training and experience on board its ships with theoretical study at North Kent College in Gravesend.

Following on from last years' successful pilot programme, a further three Deck Rating and three Engine Room Apprentices are starting this month.

The recruits from south east Kent join from a range of employment backgrounds. Connor Hyde and Jay Prescott previously worked for the Royal Navy; Jasper Weyland worked as a car mechanic; Lewis Pearce, one of two existing company employees, worked on the Pride of Burgundy in the on-board services department, with Ryan Christopher working in port operations as mooring staff; and George Lansdown was a landscaper and grounds keeper.

Lucy Masters, Learning and Development Adviser at P&O Ferries, said: "I am really pleased to welcome the new apprentices as this programme is key to the company's long-term succession planning. By working with the MNTB, we can develop the apprentices into highly skilled seafarers."

"They will gain first-hand knowledge from experienced Bosuns and Engineer Officers as well as intensive study provided by the college at the National Maritime Training Centre."

The apprentices will start with Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Basic Training for Seafarers learning about ship safety, followed by sea service and on board training in the deck department and engine room. They will need to rack up many hours of sea time to gain the experience required at sea to complement their studies and ensure they can achieve the entry level positions of Able Seafarer Deck and Able Seafarer Engine.

Pictured from left to right: Jasper Weyland, Engine; George Lansdown, Deck; Lewis Pearce, Engine; Jay Prescott, Deck; Connor Hyde, Deck; Ryan Christopher, Engine and Lucy Masters, Learning and Development Advisor for P&O Ferries.