Isle of Wight, 30th of March, 2023 — Continuing a series of successful annual programmes, class-leading offshore energy support vessel (OESV) operator Seacat Services is excited to launch its Apprenticeship Scheme for 2023, in collaboration with UKSA, youth charity for maritime career opportunities, and the Isle of Wight College.
Maintaining development pathways for new UK offshore wind personnel is a vital part of closing an industry-wide skills gap, while ensuring that the benefits of offshore wind development are felt on a local level. In turn, this will serve to bolster the UK supply chain, and support the offshore wind sector’s ‘local content’ drive.
Addressing a general lack of support for early careers and increasingly stringent qualifications requirements being put in place across the offshore wind industry, the Seacat Apprenticeship Scheme aims to provide young seafarers with a key point of entry to the sector, a competitive edge, and a clear avenue for progression.
Ian Baylis, Founder of Seacat Services, said: “The toolkit that the apprenticeship provides reflects our ongoing commitment to building up the UK maritime supply chain. At Seacat Services we strive to ensure that the employment opportunities of UK offshore wind are actually felt in the UK, something that we feel, as an industry, it is imperative to buy into.”
To broaden the reach of the scheme, Seacat is rolling out apprentice recruitment on a national scale to address the industry-wide struggle of upskilling and attracting new seafarers. From “learning to earning”, the two-year government-funded programme provides comprehensive training to support a career in the offshore renewable energy sector, giving apprentices the bespoke skills, knowledge, and behaviours required to work as a crewmember on an OESV.
It has already provided an entry point for a number of ambitious young entrants into the sector, who are now enjoying offshore wind careers.
“I could tell that Seacat was making big waves in the sector and there was an opportunity to catapult myself into an ambitious company in a growing industry,” said Connor Jarvis, Seacat Services apprentice-turned-Vessel Master.
Connor began his offshore wind journey through the apprenticeship programme in 2014. Starting from little to no experience, he was able to rapidly accelerate his career and collect multiple sought-after qualifications opening the door to opportunities within Seacat Services and the wider industry.
Beginning on the 5th of May 2023, the successful applicants will undertake a 5-week onshore training programme at UKSA in Cowes, before becoming a deckhand aboard one of Seacat Services’ OESVs on a three-week on, three-week off rotation. To further their career at Seacat Services, apprentices will have the opportunity to continue with the business, joining on a full-time basis upon completion of the final assessment.
The apprenticeship, which follows the Workboat Crewmember Apprenticeship standard, will equip successful applicants with an array of important qualifications, vital for a career in the offshore wind industry.
Robert Cook, Operations Director at Seacat Services, said: “Communications; navigation and vessel handling; berthing; towing operations and laying moorings; personnel transfers; cargo handling — these are essential skills for crewmembers on OESVs, and as an apprentice at Seacat, you’ll learn them inside out as we support you every step of the way. If you’re a young person who wants to make tangible progress towards a goal each week, this is as hands-on as it gets.”
Janet Stevens, Head of Strategic Marketing at The Isle of Wight College, added: “The Isle of Wight College is thrilled to be working in partnership with Seacat Services and UKSA to deliver the Workboat Crew Member Apprenticeship, which is so important to meet the current and future skills needs in the offshore wind energy industry.”
Applications will close on the 10th of April before successful applicants are invited to a selection day on the 19th.
Please find the link to apply here: https://seacatservices.crewsmart.app/recruitment/