South Shields Marine School’s Principal has hailed the success of a ‘virtual’ recruitment day on Saturday, November 28, which saw 130 would-be mariners sign-up for careers at sea.
Simon Ashton said he was thrilled so many people had committed their futures to the Merchant Navy from an event which connected his team to a global audience via an online portal.
The four-hour ‘live’ session allowed the marine school to connect a global audience to its experts and to representatives of major shipping companies about their work.
He said the high level of interest was proof young people valued the maritime industry and recognised its importance to UK and global trade.
Success comes as the marine school gears up for the January launch of a new level 2 marine engineering course which will give essential base-level training to new recruits.
Simon added: “Moving our recruitment day online was very much a break with tradition, but it went wonderfully well.
“There were numerous challenges to ensure the technology ran smoothly - I’m delighted those seeking information about the maritime industry found all the help they needed.
“As an internationally-renowned training centre, it’s very rewarding to know there is a real and deep interest from very many people to working in the Merchant Navy.
“The maritime sector is a real life blood of the UK economy and its success depends on a new generation of recruits coming on board.
“That 130 people actually committed their immediate futures on the day shows the resounding success of our event.
“We are continually looking to improve the training we deliver and this goal means we’ve added a new level 2 marine engineering course to our already extensive programmes.
“It is the perfect introduction for new recruits to learn the basic skills they require to embark on highly successful and hugely rewarding careers at sea.
“The course is a great progression route to further and better learning opportunities, all of which combine to improve people’s career prospects.”
To facilitate the ‘virtual’ event, staff created an online portal through which they relayed in-depth information about the Merchant Navy.
Would-be recruits connected to lecturers and to shipping firms at the touch of a button and from the comfort of home.
The portal boasted a live chat facility and live webinars through which they gained essential information while ensuring their safety amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The session highlighted information about maritime positions such as officers in deck, engine and electro-technical (ETO), and gave information about course fees and finance.
Those logging in could also take a virtual tour of the marine school’s state-of-the-art facilities at its base in Grosvenor Road.
The marine school’s specialist training allows mariners to work on 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.