Royal Fleet Auxiliary apprentices celebrate finishing their demanding engineering course in Gosport

A NEW batch of Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) apprentices are beginning the start of their journey after completing a demanding engineering course in Gosport.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 12:26 pm
Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) apprentices have been celebrating the completion of their Engineering Technician Initial Career Course (ETICC) at HMS Sultan.

The team of sailors completed their 30-week engineering technician initial career course at HMS Sultan.

Training as a split class alongside the Royal Navy, the apprentices have been studying towards a level two apprenticeship which is designed to prepare them for life at sea.

The course offers a mixture of both ‘hands-on’ practical engineering and technical training, designed equip the trainee technicians with the skills to operate, diagnose, maintain and repair equipment.

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Apprentice (E) Mark Ashcroft, 55, pictured graduating from his engineering course after having a career change.

In addition, all RFA students received similar instruction to other Phase 2 trainees across the fleet within educational skills, Basic Sea Survival (BSSC) and Operational visits.

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For the next stage of their training, they will be joining engineering sections aboard their first ships.

it will be a huge change of gears for Apprentice (E) Mark Ashcroft, who at 55 is starting a new career.

Apprentice (E) Charlie Harper, 23, was among the team to complete the course at HMS Sultan.

‘I’d been looking for a career change for a long time. I’d been working in IT and felt that now was the was right time,’ he said.

‘I’ve really enjoyed my time here, with a great bunch of lads, it’s been a real eye-opener, I thought it was going to be a bit of a struggle, but they’ve made it so much easier.’

Apprentice (E) Charlie Harper, 23, enjoyed making new friends and said the course had been a real challenge.

‘The theory side was quite hard, it was a bit of a struggle getting used to some of the distance learning due to restrictions around Covid-19, but the practical elements of the course were good,’ he added.

‘I was working as a stock manager before this so this will be a change of career and a new adventure.’

RFA training officer, Second Officer (E) Russell Downs said: ‘The class have been outstanding. We normally train two classes a year and this group have performed exceptionally well.

‘The RFA work in a variety of theatres, where the need to adapt is tested, so seeing how well they’ve adapted during the course, gives me great encouragement for their careers ahead.’

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