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Promoting maritime in schools

What a really inspiring evening I had talking to students and parents at the Brentwood School Careers evening. The event, which has now been running for many years, invites students from Brentwood School and the surrounding community to explore universities, gap year opportunities and companies promoting and providing details on career options and ideas.

Interestingly for a school that was previously focused on Russell Group University entry levels, they are responding to the recent increase in interest in apprenticeships, internships and work placements, by students who are not excited about the prospect of university debts.

I was in my element exploring with individuals what their favourite subjects and interests were, and whether at this stage they had any ideas of where they may like to be in 5 years’ time.

I was there to promote careers in HR and in maritime. Our HR Consulting from Spinnaker Global banners really attracted attention, and generated many conversations. No other mention of ships in the hall!

The careers interests ranged from architecture to technology, with a spectrum of subject topic interests including maths, engineering, politics and economics. It was very easy to highlight and talk about shipbroking, naval architecture, the IMO, the global maritime industry, as well as the growing demand for all aspects of HR across shipping (e.g. talent management, compensation & benefits, training & development). I really enjoyed just talking about the global maritime industry.

Every single conversation concluded with a ‘thank you that was really useful’ and none of them had even considered the maritime industry as a target for enquiries or their searches. Not only did it spark ideas for the youngsters, the parents too were amazed how they admitted that it is such an un-highlighted industry, despite one mum saying that she had worked in shipping before having a family. She said maritime had not even occurred to her.

I know many people in the world of maritime say they love it. In fact I frequently say I wish I had found maritime earlier in my career! We are always going to be in competition for good talent, and unless we speak up, share what we love about our world, the future generations will never know we exist. I know that I had an impact on many young people’s career thoughts yesterday and wouldn’t it be great if some of those inspiring young people chose a future in the shipping world. Are you spreading the word?

Karen Waltham, Managing Director, HR Consulting, Spinnaker Global

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