The first batch of new engineering apprentices celebrated completing their initial training at HMS Sultan at a special ceremony recently.
The apprenticeship scheme is the first of its kind run by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) and is designed to prepare trainees to effectively fulfil roles while out at sea.
After completing 17 weeks of hard work within the Defence College of Technical Training’s Defence School of Marine Engineering, the apprentices passed out of initial training in front of family and friends.
The apprentices conduct training in marine systems and equipment.
During the next nine months, the apprentices will put their theoretical skills into practice on board RFA Lyme Bay and at the end of the stint they will also receive an NVQ Level 2 in marine engineering.
Trainee Michael Mannion, 26, said: ‘I’m really excited about being part of the RFA as it’s much more interesting than working on a container ship or something similar.
‘I’ve really enjoyed bonding with the others on the course.
‘The standard of training was really well done and for our first trip away they will keep us together.
‘We will also have an apprentice mentor who will be coming along to make sure that we get on ok.’
The civilian-manned RFA delivers worldwide logistical and operational support for the wide range of tasks the Royal Navy undertakes.
This includes serving in war zones and tackling piracy, drug-busting and providing humanitarian and disaster relief.
Captain Paul Jenkins, the operational support manager for RFA ships and hydrographic and patrol vessels, said: ‘This course provides a broad and substantial foundation for all of these candidates to build from as they progress throughout their careers in the RFA.
‘It gives them all the tools necessary to go out there confidently and start their sea-going careers.
‘Nowhere else could they get the training that has been delivered to them at HMS Sultan.’