New opportunity for young people to pursue careers at sea
HETA apprentice Amy Conroy at work in the centre (Image: Richard Addison)
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 29 Apr 2019
Two training providers have teamed up to ensure young engineers are not forced to leave the region to pursue apprenticeships at sea.
Four people studying at Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA) have already been selected by an international fishing company for jobs as marine engineering apprentices.
HETA has now teamed up with Hull’s Trinity House Academy, who is recruiting young people to begin training in September.
The venture is aimed at offering careers in marine engineering to local people who have in the past had to leave the region and train elsewhere.
Iain Elliott, chief executive at HETA, said: “Four of our learners from 17 who applied have been offered places with an international fishing company following a thorough selection process which resulted in seven being interviewed.
“The candidates who were unsuccessful this time may be considered for some other opportunities which we expect to emerge soon, and the partnership itself will give more young people a chance to become marine engineers without having to leave the Humber area.”
Tony Roche, president at IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers), on a visit to HETA (Image: Neil Holmes Photography Limited)
The new initiative is also intended to support an industry-wide drive to address the shortfall in Merchant Navy officers, where there is an average age of 60 and a search for the future generations.
More young people studying at HETA are hopeful of securing work with trawler and tug operators in the Humber.
The government’s Maritime Growth Study, published in 2015, identified training and apprenticeships as an area for development, and reported a lack of awareness in the UK of the importance of the maritime sector to everyday living and of the career opportunities it represents.
Nathan Goodman, vice principal at Hull Trinity House Academy, added: “There was nothing in this area for young people who want to go into marine engineering.
Inside HETA's new facility in Hull (Image: Richard Addison)
“We have students who leave here at 16 to join the Merchant Navy and we wanted to make sure we can continue their maritime education locally.”
The study also reported that some parts of the maritime sector highlight a growing shortage of skilled individuals, particularly when recruiting for areas such as engineering.
It said: “This was attributed to an ageing workforce, a lack of diversity in those considering maritime careers, UK personnel being drawn to more lucrative jobs and a lack of interest from young people in pursuing a career in maritime.”
Hull Trinity House Academy currently has more than 600 students, and admitted around 140 in September.
Between 10 and 20 per cent have since expressed an interest in going into the maritime industry.
Mr Goodwin said: “The maritime labour conventions mean companies are reluctant to employ someone under 18 for sea going roles.
“Our very best students do secure cadetships at age 16, but most young people progress to traditional sixth form and are possibly lost to the industry.
“We wanted to make sure there was a clear progression route in Hull for future seafarers.”