A TOTAL of 21 new students joined the Cadet Training Programme at the NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway this week. The group, consisting of deck and engineer officer cadets, are undertaking the full-time course which lasts around three years, and expect to qualify in 2011. They join the programme just as the 2005 intake complete their training.
The programme offers students the opportunity to undertake their training in Shetland, working towards professional qualifications, based on SQA Higher National Diplomas and Vocational Qualifications, in order to serve as officers on merchant vessels.
Jan Rigden, head of Shetland School of Nautical Studies at the centre, said: “We are delighted to have this new complement of students undertaking this year’s Cadet Training Programme with a total of 21 new starts – 11 of whom are from Shetland, with the remainder from Scotland, mostly from the Highlands and Islands.
“Achieving an equal balance of intake from Shetland and outwith is ideal; offering our own young people the opportunity to study at home, while at the same time giving them the chance to gain experience of living and working with students from other areas and backgrounds.
“The course gives cadets the opportunity to put their theory into practice with alternating periods at sea and at college.
All cadets are employed or sponsored directly by a shipping company, ship manager or by other organisations acting on their behalf. These organisations provide the sea service and support throughout the programme.
“Awareness of the Merchant Navy as a career is rising, with the STV series The Merchant Navy currently running on Monday evenings and increased promotion through the Careers Scotland website and marketing campaign.”