SIX apprentices have joined offshore energy support vessel (OESV) operator Seacat Services (Seacat).

The newest batch of apprentice mariners come to Seacat following completion of their initial shore-based training in Cowes.

They will join operating OESVs to develop the bespoke skills, knowledge and behaviours required to work as a crewmember in the rapidly expanding offshore renewable energy sector.

The training scheme is Seacat’s third apprenticeship programme, introduced in partnership with UKSA and the Isle of Wight College in February.

It is a two-year, government funded programme.

Seacat said it values its position as a local employer and takes pride in offering rewarding career opportunities for young people on the Isle of Wight, particularly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The six apprentices are all between 18 and 24 years old, and are all Island residents from a variety of backgrounds.

Rob Cook, operations director at Seacat Services, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome our latest round of apprentices to our crew, and looking forward to shaping their futures as mariners and as critical supporters of the UK’s growing offshore wind sector.

"Seacat Services leads the industry for quality of service, safety, availability and reliability, and we train our recruits to the highest possible standards to excel in their careers.”

Kerrie Forster, chief executive at the Workboat Association, said: “Apprenticeship schemes like those offered by Seacat are critical to ensuring the workboat sector scales up to meet the soaring demands of the UK’s offshore wind market throughout its exponential growth.

"Partnering on this training course, Seacat, UKSA, and the Isle of Wight College reinforce the enviable accumulation of maritime and offshore expertise on the UK’s South coast and enables its young people to excel and succeed.

“We have seen other workboat organisations in the region following Seacat’s lead to establish their own apprenticeship schemes with UKSA, with impressive sign-up rates across the local community.

"It’s great to see the investment into local employment opportunities bearing such fruit, and we look forward to tracking this progress into the future.”