Two Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Apprentice Engineers have successfully completed their shore-based training and will this month join the Company’s engineering department onboard the Ben-my-Chree.
Jed Fisher, 20, from Ramsey and Michael Keeling, 20, from Ballabeg, have been working hard for four years to attain their ONC in Engineering, attending the Isle of Man College for one day each week and gaining practical experience at the Steam Packet Company’s Engineering Workshops. They have been working with trained Marine Engineers throughout their apprenticeship, learning skills such as machining and welding as well as working on the ferry Company vessel’s engines whenever they were in dry dock.
Both Jed and Michael will now work within the Engineering department onboard the Ben-my-Chree as Junior Engineers. They are both determined to work towards their goal of becoming Chief Engineers. Jed explained: ‘Michael and I both aim to sit our Officer of the Watch ticket in the near future, before progressing to 3rd and 2nd tickets and so on until, eventually, we can sit our Chief ticket. This can take up to fifteen years to achieve, but it is something that we are both determined to accomplish.’
While Jed is the first in his family to pursue a career with the Steam Packet Company, for Michael the Company is already a part of his heritage. He explained: ‘My grandfather, Gordon Keeling, was formerly Tug Master Driver with the Steam Packet Company before he retired in 1989. Whilst my career path is a bit different, I’m glad that I am able to work for a company of which he was also proud to be a part.’
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We are very pleased for Jed and Michael and we’re delighted to welcome them as full-time employees. They have both done remarkably well and I am sure that they will prove a tremendous asset to our Engineering department. The Company is committed to securing the future of local talent and is focusing on a long term in-house training program approved by the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA). This will enable the Company to ensure that its future workforce have the skills which are not often readily available in the external job market.’
The Steam Packet Company’s new ‘Junior Engineers’ Jed Fisher (left) and Michael Keeling (second from right) are pictured with Technical Manager Frank O’Neill (second from left), Human Resources Manager Ethel Docherty and Engineering Workshop Manager Bob Docherty.