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Ellie - Maritime Services

Ellie - Able Seafarer (Deck), HMNB Clyde

Serco Maritime Services have been running an Able Seafarer (Deck) Apprenticeship scheme since the first cohort in 2011.  The which takes approximately three years to complete.  The course is a mixture of college and on the job training working both on in port and sea going vessels and takes around two years to complete.  Ellie joined Serco’s Maritime services team in Faslane in September 2021 and her colleague Rebeca who stated at the same time are Maritime Services first female apprentices. 

Where did you hear about the opportunity for your apprenticeship and what appealed to you about the scheme? 

I came across the apprenticeship by googling any apprenticeships that were coming up for the maritime industry having previously worked at sea as a deck cadet. What appealed to me was that fact that the ship types were very different to the ferries that I was used, as well as this, it would mean moving away from my hometown to work and do something I’ve previously enjoyed doing.

What sort of tasks do you get involved with?

I get involved in all the deck work that goes on, on the ship. This is from chipping painting to helping tie up the vessel when arriving in port. We also get involved with the drills onboard like firefighting and man overboard.

What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?

Most of all, I enjoy meeting people of all backgrounds and walks of life during the apprenticeship. Their experiences and expertise help an awful lot. I also enjoy the travelling too and seeing new places!

What would your advice be to someone considering starting an apprenticeship in the Defence Industry?

The best advice I could give is definitely look into it and see if it’s for you. Many people are apprehensive of starting a career at sea due to the time you could be away from home for, but in these circumstances you’ve got to put yourself first! It’s the best choice I’ve made for my future goals.