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Maritime Mondays make a splash with Portsmouth’s educators

Chris Hatter giving a talk at the port

20 teachers and careers advisors from across Portsmouth and the Solent region recently took part in a maritime awareness course, developed in partnership with the city’s maritime sector.

The aim was to highlight the opportunities in the sector, alongside how maritime business can support the curriculum , with an emphasis on STEAM learning and the educational routes into one of the most exciting and largest industries in the area.

Held across two Mondays in July, the events comprised of talks, networking and a port tour at Portsmouth International Port, followed by a voyage of discovery on Wightlink’s flagship Victoria of Wight.

Maritime professionals also joined from Portico, Geest Line, Royal Caribbean, UK Border Force, Qinetiq whilst there was educational support from STEMUnity, South Coast Institute of Technology, COWSec, Solent University – Warsash and Maritime UK Solent.

As well as seeing the environmental developments and logistic elements at the port, Wightlink demonstrated their hybrid technology through visits to the engine room and bridge; even the Royal Navy got involved with HMS Queen Elizabeth leaving the harbour on the return to Portsmouth.

New opportunities around school visits; industry talks and support available from Maritime UK were discussed by the schools with the businesses present, who are excited to develop those in partnerships that have been established at the event.

Senior leaders, including the port’s harbour master, Ben McInnes and Wightlink’s chief executive Keith Greenfield were on hand as well as many other staff from the two host organisations.

The educators went away highly enthused, with one teacher commenting that it was “the best industry CPD session they had ever done” whilst another simply wanted to know how they could get into the industry.

Chris Hatter, head of compliance of Portsmouth International Port said:

“In Portsmouth, the average maritime salary is 50% higher than the national average, and nearly half of all jobs in the Solent region are linked to maritime and logistics.

“It’s been fantastic to work with Wightlink and other organisations to highlight the opportunities available in the sector which can offer young people an rewarding career with numerous opportunities in a whole range of exciting roles.”

Chief executive of Wightlink, Keith Greenfield added:

“Wightlink is proud to be part of the Solent’s vibrant and exciting community of seafarers and we were delighted to take part in Maritime Mondays.

“We hope the experience of sailing on our hybrid flagship Victoria of Wight will encourage teachers to add maritime matters to the curriculum and inspire their students to investigate careers on and around the water.”