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Who better to inspire today's teenagers to go to sea than the people who've lived the life themselves? If you're based in the UK and would like to share your experiences of seafaring with young people, you could become a Careers at Sea Ambassador. RACHEL GURNETT of the Merchant Navy Training Board explains what's involved…
You may already be aware of Careers at Sea – the UK Merchant Navy Training Board's promotional campaign. We aim to encourage young people to take up a career in the Merchant Navy as an engineer, ETO, navigating officer or in ratings roles. Experience has taught me that young people are interested in a career at sea. They want to find out more, and we are seeking to make that as easy as possible.
Part of the Careers at Sea programme, supported by Nautilus International, is our Ambassador scheme. We have a team of volunteers who work, have worked or are in training for a career at sea. All of them have worked onboard ship and can share their experiences – there is nothing like first-hand stories to inspire! Their other common factor? They are all passionate about communicating what a life in the Merchant Navy can offer – the lifestyle, a great career and experiences like no other.
There is little doubt that our Ambassadors are key to making the Careers at Sea campaign as successful as it is. They visit schools and youth groups around the UK promoting career pathways into the Merchant Navy. Hearing their stories of time at sea inspires and encourages young people to consider roles they can undertake, whether that be a cadetship or apprenticeship. Here are a few things the Careers at Sea Ambassadors had to say about their experiences as volunteers.
Ally has provided a picture of the table he set up: 'It was designed to catch the eye. Even the teachers and other exhibitors were drawn over to the table'. He says that the visitors were telling stories of the experiences they have had onboard different vessels, and the young people were engaging with the material, asking questions like 'What qualifications do I get?' and 'How much can I earn?' Adding to this by saying 'the Merchant Navy is a way of life', he is able to promote Merchant Navy careers as well as what the wider maritime Industry can provide. He also highlights that 95% of trade is transported by sea – everything from cars to mobile phones – relating it directly to the young people: 'It was almost like a light had been switched on in some.'
Requests for Careers at Sea Ambassador visits are flooding in from schools and youth groups