National Apprenticeship Week: VMG’s first apprentice!

If you're wondering how to get an apprenticeship opportunity within the maritime industry, here is Reece's story who started with us 6 years ago as an apprenticeship.

Hi, I’m Reece, Viking Maritime Group’s first apprentice in the Dover office. I started with the Viking Maritime Group in January 2015, after signing up with a local Apprenticeship provider. My apprenticeship lasted about 18 Months. 

 What is an Apprenticeship? 

With an apprenticeship, you are employed to do a real job whilst studying for a formal qualification. Study time varies but it’s usually for one day a week. At the end of an apprenticeship, you will hopefully have gained the skills and knowledge needed to either succeed in your chosen career or progress onto the next apprenticeship level. Or, put more simply, an apprenticeship allows you to start a career in an industry without necessarily having the required qualifications, you can learn on the job in-order to achieve a relevant, industry recognised qualification. 

 Why an Apprenticeship? 

After completing A-Levels, I was initially planning on continuing to study at university. However, I stumbled upon Apprenticeships and after some research, I knew that an apprenticeship was the correct path for me. I could still learn and study (which was something I wanted to continue) but also start a career and earn a wage – an Apprenticeship for me, was the bridge between Higher education and the workplace, which was the perfect balance for how I like to learn. 

 What is ‘being and Apprentice’ like? 

Being the ‘Office Apprentice’ may sound scary and for some conjures up images of making cups of tea all day! In reality, being an Apprentice is very similar to being a full-time employee. I was treated the same as a full-time employee, I was part of a team and I was assigned a full-time staff member as a mentor. After an induction and basic training, I was given real, meaningful work to complete. My tasks consisted of emailing clients and customers, answering the phone, making reports, day to day admin and much much more. 

 What do I do now? 

After completing my 18 month Apprenticeship and gaining a formal qualification in Business Administration, the Viking Maritime Group offered me a full-time position. 

I have been working with the Viking Maritime Group for 6+ years now, during which time I have had the opportunity to work and experience many areas of the business including: Luxury Yacht Recruitment, Maritime Training, and Crew Operations.  

In my current role, I work in a team which manages around 300 crew working aboard a Luxury 6* cruise line. I am also responsible for IT software systems for the whole company. 

 How do I become an apprentice? 

An Apprenticeship is more than just a qualification, it can be the start of your career.

Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of industries and business sectors. 

Applying to be an apprentice is easy, find out more at: https://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/apprentices 

If you would like to find out more about Viking Crew, check out some of our services: https://www.vikingcrew.com/placement/

Also, if you're new to the industry and need to know where to start, our sister company Maritime Skills Academy can help you find the right course for your new path.