Schoolchildren can access a route into the Merchant Navy through the expansion into new waters of a pioneering South Tyneside College-based education and training initiative.
From September 2017, those aged just 14 can join Career College North East’s (CCNE) new two-year specialist maritime training programme.
It launches with a recruitment event from 5.30pm on Tuesday, June 27, at our Westoe campus in St George's Avenue, South Shields.
Youngsters, and their parents, will be able to discuss their learning options with CCNE and marine school specialists.
The new provision centres around the career college’s partnership with South Shields Marine School, one of the world’s foremost training centres for merchant mariners and which is based within South Tyneside College.
Learners who complete the course will be guaranteed a place on the marine school’s pre-cadetship programme, with defined and dedicated nautical and engineering career advancement.
The programme builds on CCNE’s unique existing apprenticeship provision for 14 to 19-year-olds in advanced manufacturing, engineering and computer science.
Ray Parkinson, Head of CCNE, said: “Our new maritime provision provides a unique opportunity for pupils to pursue careers at sea while still studying at school.
“It is an ideal route to first-class skills and experience for those who already know, even at such a young age, the career path they wish to take.
“By expanding the reach of Career College North East, we are meeting the needs of a very specific learner group.
“I would urge those who are interested in finding out more about this fantastic opportunity and a career at sea to attend the open event.”
Gary Hindmarch, Principal of South Shields Marine School, added: “The marine school is a world leader in its field, and there is no better training available.
“By partnering with Career College North East, we are opening up an innovative learning and training opportunity to young people throughout this region.
“We are looking forward to welcoming potential recruits during the open evening and explaining the range of maritime career prospects with high earning potential, from £25,000 after graduation to £60,000 in senior positions.”
CCNE is a partnership between South Tyneside College and Ofsted-rated ‘outstanding’ St Wilfrid’s RC College in South Shields.
It offers a blend of core academic work and accelerated vocationally-focused study programmes, with clear progression routes into higher and further education, apprenticeships and work.
Launched in September 2015, it is part of a national network of career colleges, created by former Home Secretary Lord Kenneth Baker, which aim to fill skills gaps in specific sectors.
Supported by regional employers, it is based on latest national education policy that allows Further Education colleges to recruit students at the age of 14 with the aim of increasing choice, opportunity and prospects.
Marine units will be integrated into the existing CCNE pathway, allowing students to gain experience of marine alongside their engineering route, skills arenas which share common threads.
They will spend two days a week at the marine school, covering digital skills, engineering and elements of maritime engineering and work related learning.
The week’s remaining three days will be at St Wilfrid’s, following a core academic curriculum of English language, English literature, mathematics, science and humanities subjects.
Students who attain the required levels in English and mathematics are guaranteed entry into post-16 marine programmes.
More information on the recruitment event and on CCNE is available by calling South Tyneside College on 0191 427 3500 or visiting www.ccne.co.uk.
South Shields Marine School, which was founded in 1861, runs a full curriculum of courses including cadet programmes, professional industry training, and off-shore and safety training to international shipping and maritime industries.
The school enjoys close links with international shipping companies, benefitting cadets moving into the industry.
It is also the venue of choice for many experienced seafarers who choose it for training when they require new skills and qualifications.
Its facilities include the Marine and Offshore Safety Training Centre in Wapping Street, South Shields, one of the UK’s major offshore training facilities.