South Shields Marine School is going ‘virtual’ to help would-be seafarers navigate the stormy waters of coronavirus to launch their careers.
Staff will be online between 10am and 2pm on Saturday, November 28, via a virtual portal to relay in-depth information about life in the Merchant Navy.
The portal, set up for the marine school’s Virtual Maritime Careers Day, will allow potential recruits to connect with lecturers and representatives of major shipping companies from the comfort of home.
Via a live chat facility, and through live webinars, they can chat to those in the know about what it takes to enter and qualify for well-paid and secure careers at sea.
The award-winning marine school has moved the recruitment event online to overcome Covid travel restrictions and virus fears, which could have led some recruits to miss out.
Anyone interested in being part of Virtual Maritime Careers Day, which is also open to experienced seafarers seeking to update their qualifications, should sign up online in advance.
They can discover more at https://careersday.southshieldsmarineschool.com/SSMSlive/home.
During Virtual Maritime Careers Day, they can find out about opportunities in the Merchant Navy, including positions as officers in deck, engine and electro-technical (ETO).
They can also get information about course fees and finance and how to start their applications, and take a virtual tour of the marine school and its facilities and take part in live webinars and question and answer sessions.
Qualified cadets enjoy well-paid careers, working on a variety of vessels in the modern Merchant Navy.
These include container ships, cruise liners, ferries, oil and gas tankers, chemical carriers, bulk carriers, cable layers, car carriers, supply and support vessels and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.
Marine school Principal, Simon Ashton, said: “Our teaching and instruction is innovative, and so is this vitally important recruitment event.
“The maritime sector requires a consistent level of new recruits, who are essential to maintaining world trade at its required level.
“The pandemic has thrown up numerous challenges to us in the way we are able to carry out our training programmes.
“We have innovated by moving courses online, while also having as many student cadets learning onsite as possible.
“Our careers days are always well-attended and a great success, and there was no way we were not going to go ahead with our November event.
“It provides a fantastic opportunity for people who are thinking about a career at sea to find out exactly how they can do that.
“Our lecturers will be on hand to engage remotely, and I’m delighted that representatives of the major shipping firms who employ recruits, are also taking part.
“A career at sea can be hugely rewarding in terms of pay and also, crucially, job satisfaction and opportunity.
“I hope would-be recruits will take this opportunity to engage with us and kick their careers.”
South Shields Marine School was established in 1861 and is the world’s oldest purpose-built maritime training centre.
It was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2019 for work in maritime computer modelling.
It attracts trainee mariners from the UK and overseas, and many arrive as cadets sponsored by leading shipping companies.
The marine school is also the venue of choice for many experienced seafarers who choose it for training when they require new skills and qualifications.