In 2008, Red Funnel embarked on a concept to grow its own talent when it realised that the industry for British deckhands was shrinking. Larger companies were looking abroad to source labour, which resulted in a shortage in training as well as a reduction in the talent pool of qualified candidates in the UK. To help address this, Red Funnel’s ‘Trainee General Purpose Deck Hand’ programme was born.
The programme offers individuals an opportunity to learn on the job while being paid and become a fully able seaman. When a cadet first joins, they get the opportunity to work alongside the existing crew for twelve months and obtain an EDH (Efficient Deck Hand) certificate. Following this, they can then complete an AB (Able Seafarer) ticket.
Red Funnel currently has 4 cadets on the programme. All of them started their studies in July 2017 and are due to complete their training in July this year.
Nicole Williams, 1 of the 4 cadets that are due to finish training this year, said:
“I’ve honestly loved every minute of my training at Red Funnel and am so excited to finally become a fully-fledged member of the team. My colleagues and mentors have been incredibly supportive throughout the whole process. I would urge anyone who is thinking about a career on the sea to consider applying for an apprenticeship with Red Funnel.”
Kevin George, CEO of Red Funnel, said:
“Apprenticeships provide a fantastic route to a great career for many young people. I am extremely proud that for a decade our Trainee General Purpose Deck Hand programme has helped to create a steady flow of skilled and qualified mariners for the UK maritime industry. I would like to wish all those who are coming through the ranks every success in their future careers.”