Photo from Douglas Head with green grass in the foreground and Steam Packet Company vessel Manannan in Douglas Harbour
Photo from Douglas Head with green grass in the foreground and Steam Packet Company vessel Manannan in Douglas Harbour

NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK: STEAM PACKET COMPANY APPRENTICE ENGINEER

To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2021, a week-long celebration taking place between 8th and 14th February which recognises the amazing work of apprentices across the British Isles, we wanted to shine a light on one of our very own.

We caught up with Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Apprentice Engineer James Clugston, who is currently in year two of our four-year engineering apprenticeship scheme, to find out a bit more about his role and what it entails.

National Apprenticeship Week montage with a photo of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company fleet in Douglas Harbour, a red engine fan, the Ben-my-Chree in dry dock and  Steam Packet Company Apprentice Engineer James Clugston.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

I am 20 years old and work with the Steam Packet Company as an Apprentice Engineer. I attended Castle Rushen High School up until 2019 and was then accepted onto the apprentice scheme the same year. This was very exciting for me as I have always wanted to be an engineer, especially in an exciting industry such as maritime.

As part of the programme, I work four days a week with the Steam Packet Company and then attend University College Isle of Man once a week where I am working towards my City and Guilds 2850.

WHAT DOES YOUR DAY-T0-DAY ROLE INVOLVE?

Day-to-day I work alongside the Workshop Engineers to undertake jobs as requested by my manager, such as welding or repair work. This can range from working on the Company vessels’ main engines, auxiliary engines, pipe repairs, deck fan installation or anything else the Chief Engineer submits to the workshop. These jobs are not always within the working day as breakdowns and damages can occur at any time, so I could be called into assist the team day or night. 

Another important part of my role is completing work for third-party customers, such as simple machining jobs, fabrication work and the cutting and delivery of materials.

DO YOU ENJOY THE ROLE?

Yes! I am so fortunate to have this opportunity; working towards my dream job in an industry I enjoy. I will always be grateful to the Steam Packet Company for making this possible and for all the support and opportunities it continues to provide me. The role is diverse and exciting and I genuinely feel like I learn something new every day.  

WHAT ARE YOUR AMBITIONS FOR THE FUTURE?

Upon completion of the apprenticeship, my dream is to sail as an engineer with the Steam Packet Company. My dad is a Second Engineer on the Ben-my-Chree and it would mean so much to me and my family to continue this tradition and follow in my father’s footsteps.

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