A new and unique award was presented to two Merchant Navy cadets at the Shetland School of Nautical Studies last Wednesday.
The Northern Lighthouse Board Prize was given in recognition of excellence in academic work, project work and professional performance. David Sutherland from Scalloway and David Clark from Aberdeen each received a certificate and £1,000 prize at a presentation at the NAFC Marine Centre. The prizes were presented by former Northern Lighthouse Commission chairman George Sutherland.
The winning cadets receive the award midway through their cadet training, having spent time at sea and in training at the NAFC, and it is intended to both encourage and financially assist cadets in their training.
Capt Sutherland spoke in praise of the award winners, describing them as “promising young cadets” and wishing them success in their future studies and careers.
David Sutherland is a deck officer cadet and David Clark an engineering officer cadet.
David Sutherland said he intended to buy study material with the prize money and described the award as “a real surprise and it’s wonderful to win it”. He thanked the college and his sponsor, the SIC transport services.
David Clark said: “This makes all the effort worthwhile.” He intends to buy a laptop computer which will help him with his studies while at sea and also extended his gratitude to the NAFC, his classmates and the NLB as well as his sponsor, the Ship Safe Training Group.
The prize was funded by the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses 2000 Trust, set up to assist in funding the provision of training, education and support for Merchant Navy cadet officers.
NAFC head of nautical studies Jan Rigden said he was delighted by the awards and saw it as a part of the industry’s recognition of the quality of students the course was producing.
Cadet courses have been run the NAFC for five years and two course groups have so far completed their training with the third finishing later this year. As Mr Rigden pointed out, an award such as this is an excellent addition to the training portfolio of the successful students.
NAFC director David Gray said: “There is no better praise than when companies come back to us and ask for more students, who are clearly flying the flag for the college.”
Prof Gray commended the “committed and dedicated” approach the winning students had to their studies and the hard work the centre’s staff put into the course delivery.
There are currently 12 cadets on each deck officer course and there are plans in the near future to increase the number of cadets entering the courses.