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New cadet programme at Energy Skills Centre shows students what life is like working at sea

From taking the wheel in rough conditions on a state-of-the-art simulator to mapping a ship’s route, students were given a taste of what life is like working at sea during a launch event at a coastal college.

East Coast College’s new Maritime Deck Cadet Programme was launched during a special showcase event to highlight this exciting new, fully-funded course.

It was attended by 40 youngsters studying engineering and automotive courses.

With the three-year Deck Cadet Programme course based at the college’s £11.3m Energy Skills Centre in Lowestoft providing all the skills you need to gain employment as a fully qualified officer of the watch on any ship type around the world, it includes time learning at both college and at sea.

At the launch event students got the chance to take part in a range of activities and experienced what it’s like working inside a ship’s engine room.

They learnt map reading skills and had their questions answered by representatives from the Ship Safe Training Group (SSTG), Gardline, Seajacks and Southern Crewing Services.

Kerry Payne, East Coast College assistant principal, said: “Our new Deck Cadet Programme is a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in a career at sea and we are excited to welcome our first intake for the 2021 academic year.

“The launch event was a great chance to show some students about the career possibilities at sea and they all thoroughly enjoyed using our state-of-the-art simulator equipment to get a taste of what the course will include.

“On completion of the three-year course, students will achieve a HNC in Nautical Science and be ready to step into a role as a fully qualified officer of the watch.

“Alternatively they can choose to progress further with us and study a HND in Nautical Science and top-up to a bachelor’s degree in a maritime-related field.”

Future events are due to be held to showcase the course and equipment to local schools and members of the public.

Anyone who would like to find out more can email with applications for September 2021 now open online via