For the very first time, a young female has been selected by North Eastern Inshore
Fisheries and Conservation Authority in conjunction with Whitby Fishing School to start on the Workboat apprenticeship scheme.
Georgina Innes-Myers, 18, of Port Mulgrave, was selected ahead of some very talented applicants from across the region.
Georgina will spend the next 12 months studying her Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies.
In conjunction with other workboat students from across the country, Georgina will undertake her first element of theory training in the classroom at Whitby Fishing School learning essential maritime skills.
After 10 weeks, she will then join her vessel, the North Eastern Guardian III fisheries patrol vessel, where she will complete the remaining practical part of the diploma.
Georgina is proving to be a valuable member of the teamIan Davies
Throughout the course Georgina will learn all aspects of maintaining a navigational watch, vessel operations, mooring and anchoring, taking personal emergency action on board a vessel, maintaining deck equipment, personal health, safety and environmental standards on board and take control of a survival craft and rescue boat.
Georgina said: “I’ve always wanted to do a rewarding job, working with NEIFCA is the perfect opportunity for that as it combines enforcement and environment.
“Each day is a different day and I have already learnt many new skills that I never dreamt I’d have the opportunity to learn.
“I’ve always enjoyed challenging myself and the fact that this job is so practical allows each day to be an adventure.
“I was immediately accepted as part of the crew.”
Georgina’s nominated mentor, NEIFCA Deputy Chief Officer, Ian Davies, added: “Both the crew and I are very impressed with Georgina’s outlook and attitude towards the job and she is proving to have been a very good selection from our recent recruitment for an apprentice deckhand.
“This is the first workboat apprentice for the North Eastern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority and it’s good to be able to recruit locally and support the local maritime training school in Whitby.
“Georgina is proving to be a valuable member of the crew and is not fazed by any challenge presented to her.
“I am really pleased with Georgina to date and look forward to seeing her progress over the coming months.
Sarah Murray, Operational Support Manager at North Eastern Inshore Fisheries, is also supporting Georgina while she is completing her diploma. She said: “Georgina has fit in really well, she is embracing the opportunity and I have no doubt she will continue to excel throughout the duration of the apprentice program.
Whitby Fishing School’s Director and Business Development Manager Andy Hodgson said there had been an exceptional response to this year’s Workboat Apprenticeship programme, with many young people applying to UK-wide Workboat companies.
“Here at the Fishing School, we are extremely pleased to welcome our first female apprentice onto the workboat programme,” he said.
“Hopefully Georgina’s appointment will encourage other young females to pursue a career in the maritime industry.”
Georgina told Fishing School staff about her experience of securing a place as a deckhand.
“I applied because I love challenging myself and being practical. From learning in the classroom to applying that knowledge on board the fisheries patrol vessel,” she said.
“I feel like I’m always learning something new.
“Being a female apprentice is great and I hope it encourages more women to do the same.
“It’s a brilliant and rewarding career choice. Many people seem surprised to see me aboard the vessel as it is a male-dominated career choice, however, I find people accept it very quickly and perceive me as valid as the next person.
“It’s an amazing experience.”
Mr Hodgson added that commercial sea fishing is another area where traditionally, the majority of apprentices are predominantly male.
For Georgina, though, the pathway to the Workboat apprenticeship with NEIFCA and Whitby Fishing School will help crystalize her ambition and desire to work out on the North Sea.
If you are interested in starting a career at sea please contact Whitby Fishing School on (01947) 825871 to discuss your career prospects.