In light of National Careers Week, we collated a series of inspirational stories from cadets and apprentices with the intent to inspire people and future generations to pursue a career in maritime. This could be a career onshore or at sea, a career that has no gender, race and belief barriers, a career for everyone.

George is studying at Humber Maritime College and is halfway through his course to qualify as an Engineer Officer which he is finding both demanding and rewarding, with this really reinforcing his intention to create a successful career in the Merchant Navy.

“I was working in an admin office and quickly discovered that a monotonous office environment really wasn’t for me and I needed to do something with a bit more of a challenge. I already had an interest in maritime engineering so I started to find out what was available and came across the cadetships and decided to apply.”

“I had done a GCSE in Engineering at school and I always liked working with my hands which included doing repairs on my car and also a little boat I owned. Stripping down parts and maintaining machinery.”

“We’re learning a lot from the very supportive tutors who have prepared us with a good understanding of the basics for our sea phases of the course.”

“We’ve got tutors who specialise in Marine Engineering and Maths, as there is a lot of maths involved in what we are doing. The engineering side deals with practical knowledge and the maths is more physics-based, we’re learning a lot from the very supportive tutors who have prepared us with a good understanding of the basics for our sea phases of the course. We need to know about engines and all of the different systems onboard, and also know what to expect on the ships. And there’s quite a lot on safety in the course as you are working with a lot of potential hazards.”

“The crew onboard the ships could not have been more helpful to me, and especially the engineers I was working with. And it really helped as the third engineers and second engineers had of course been through the same cadetship so they knew exactly what I needed to learn. And the Chief Engineer would sit down with you when you had some free time and talk you through things. It was a really good experience.”

“Seeing the machinery first-hand and working on it was really rewarding. And being left to get on with jobs like servicing generators you’d been trained on was good. It’s the full experience of being onboard and putting into practice what you have learned at college.”

“Yes, it’s really different! You have your own cabin which really helps when you are working on your training record book which can be quite demanding. There are lots of tasks you have got to get signed off for your training and your cabin lets you focus on that. Otherwise, when everyone is together it’s really social. It can be quite hard switching off from the work environment when you’ve been onboard all the time – but on the ships, I was on you can easily relax and socialise.”

“I would definitely say that is a very rewarding career within the marine engineering department from what I have experienced so far. If you are looking for a challenge and you want to push yourself this is definitely the right career for you. It is a life experience you wouldn’t get in a shore job.”