Hard work pays off for marine students

THE NAFC Marine Centre’s 18th annual prizegiving on Wednesday saw six students scoop prizes for their academic achievements during the year.

Shetland School of Nautical Studies head Jan Rigden was master of ceremonies while NAFC director David Gray presented the individual awards.

First up was Ian Shearer who was awarded the SVQ Level II marine vessel operations (fish catching) prize. He began his training as a Skillseeker trainee on the Defiant in June 2006 and quickly developed into a well regarded member of the crew. So much so that he is now a full-time deckhand on the vessel. He was also runner up in the 2008 Shet­land Training Awards Skillseeker of the Year category.

Mr Shearer said: “I’m very pleased to win this award. It was a good course and I found the sea time particularly valuable. The next step would be to attain my Class 2 Skip­per’s ticket and I plan to come back to the NAFC as it’s such a good training facility.”

The Castrol prize for engineering was awarded to Paul Mullay, who joined the NAFC as a full time National Certificate student.

He then successfully gained em­ploy­ment as a modern apprentice with Shetland Islands Council’s ferries division. College staff said he had worked conscientiously through­out his time at the centre and in his employment, and had pro­duced a first class portfolio.

Scooping the trophy for the best student in the Class 1 fishing vessel deck officer category was Alan Moody, a student currently employed by Solent Towage in Southampton.

He studied for his Class 1 Certificate of Competency at the NAFC Marine Centre as he was unable to find suitable tuition elsewhere in the UK.

Mr Moody: “I was very impressed with the quality of tuition and sup­port that I received while studying in Shetland and hope to return in February to undertake my Officer of the Watch Unlimited certificate.”

The winner of the Bells Nautical Trust prize for outstanding effort by a deck cadet was Murdanie MacLeod from the Isle of Lewis.

He joined the NAFC cadet prog­ramme in September 2005 and was sponsored by Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd throughout his training period.

Mr MacLeod is now employed by the company as third officer and expects to join his next vessel early in the New Year.

School of Nautical Studies head Jan Rigden said: “Murdanie has been an outstanding student through­out his time with us – both afloat and ashore. He made an excellent im­pres­sion while at sea and produced a very detailed portfolio from every voyage that was full of interesting, relevant and useful information.”

Michael Dick from Orkney was awarded the North Star Shipping award for outstanding effort by an engineer cadet.

He also joined the NAFC Marine Centre cadet programme in Septem­ber 2005 and was sponsored by DOF (UK) Ltd during his training period. He is now working as third engineer on the multi-purpose construction vessel Geoholm.

Mr Dick said: “I found the centre very helpful in supporting me through my training and the staff were always more than happy to help. The cadets in my class were all great people and working with them made the course enjoyable. I hope we all keep in touch.”

NAFC liaison officer Caroline Hepburn said: “Michael proved to be a committed, enthusiastic and hard working student. He had a strong sense of responsibility which made him a valuable member of his group.”

Clyde Marine Training Ltd also awards a prize each year to their best sponsored cadets in deck and engineering.

This year, the deck winner was Murdanie MacLeod and the engineer award was given to Adam Lyon from Orkney, who is now employed by SMIT International as third engin­eer on the fisheries research vessel Cefas Endeavour sailing from Lowestoft.

Welcoming everyone and addres­sing the prize winners, Professor Gray said: “I’m privileged and hon­oured today to share in your achieve­ments, hard work, dedication, com­mit­ment to your studies and, ulti­mately, in you reaching your potential.

“This is one of my favourite times of year as it focuses the mind on why the NAFC is here – to help people learn and give them skills that enable them to go into the workplace and start their career.

“But it doesn’t stop there, never forget that the NAFC is here to help you progress in your career – your learning never stops.

“Also, never forget those who have helped you in your journey – family and friends who’ve supported you in your studies, also the team at the Shetland School of Nautical Studies and staff at the NAFC.

“Last but not least, I’d like to thank you – the students – who’ve shown you’re not going to be a spectator but, instead, you’re going to seize the day.”


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