Meet our apprentice Declan

11 February 2022

Declan joined the Authority last year to complete a two-year Workboat Crewmember Apprenticeship, which incorporates all aspects of the Workboat Crewmember Apprenticeship Standard and additional RYA/MCA qualifications. The apprentice is delivered in partnership with training provider Searegs.

> How is your apprenticeship going?

I’m loving the challenge! Before I took up the apprenticeship I was working as a welder and fabricator with a local Harwich company. I enjoyed the work but with a significant birthday looming on the horizon I felt it was time to look for a new opportunity. I enjoy the variety of the apprenticeship as my time is split across the Marine Support and Pilot Launch teams. The residential element of my apprenticeship is delivered by SeaRegs at their training established in Plymouth. The teaching groups are very small, usually 4 to 6 apprenticeships so I really feel that we get good, quality interactions with our tutors.

Joining a new organisation as the ‘trainee’ can be a bit daunting. But, I can honestly say that from the word go I’ve been embraced as one of the team. My two immediate line managers are extremely accessible and supportive of me, which is brilliant.

> What have you found challenging about your apprenticeship?

I haven’t found anything particularly challenging because the training I’ve received has been very comprehensive. I was, however, quite nervous on my first night-time trip on a Pilot Launch as you have to depend on your navigation equipment. After now completing many night trips I now feel very confident.

> What would you say to someone that was considering doing a Workboat Crewmember Apprenticeship?

As someone who has grown up in a coastal town I had never considered a career in the maritime industry. But, when I explored the apprenticeship structure further I knew it was for me. The quality of the training I am receiving is superb and on completion of my apprenticeship I know that my qualifications will ensure that I will secure work in the industry. I’m slightly older than the average apprentice. That shouldn’t be a barrier if you’re looking for a career change and I’d say go in to the apprenticeship with an open mind and absorb as much as you can.

Find out more about the Workboat Apprenticeship.