Recent CMT Merchant Navy Deck Officer recruit Wayne Walker – 1st Phase at the Scottish Maritime Academy in Peterhead and sponsored by Solstad Offshore – was recently interviewed for the BBC Scotland show ‘The Nine‘ about how COVID played a part in his decision to begin training as a Merchant Navy Officer.

Wayne has acquitted himself well since starting his course in August 2020, and we thought his story was one worth sharing, and will resonate with potential cadets both young, and those considered ‘mature’, who are trying to decide if the Merchant Navy is a career path they wish to take.

We also spoke to Wayne to provide a little more background in addition to the interview above:

“I left high school at 17 to go onto college to study NC electronics.  It was something I was interested in and it was also a way of gaining grades in English and Maths that had not gone the way I wanted in school. After a year I received my certificate I went out and started working. I have done all sorts of jobs from shops to butcheries to driving jobs, but have all been jobs and not careers.

“I found myself moving to bigger and bigger vehicles until I was driving a 30tonne dump truck for my last employer.  It was a job I loved with plenty income, but I sacrificed time with my family in doing so.

“Then the coronavirus hit, work dried up and I was made redundant at the same time as my wife, it was a big shock.

“The merchant navy was something that I had been considering for many years since it is what my father does, I have seen the life benefits to this career path. He is a captain with Fletcher Shipping operating, out of cork Ireland, and he has always been an inspiration to me as he has always strived to be the best at what he does and that is something I feel I follow in his footsteps with.

“The merchant navy for me will mean that I will have a solid steady career to support my young family and also have a lot more time to share life with them because of the potential shift patterns.

“I believe that coming into this cadetship at a later stage in life will be an advantage to myself as I have seen the big bad world and lived a life of having to work long hard hours to get what I want. Having worked up to 70 hours per week in my previous job I know I can deal with being away from family for periods of time and have their support, along with no reduced worries that they can cope in my absence when I’m at sea.

“Clyde marine was as far as I was aware the biggest and finest training provider in the UK and I feel privileged to be part of the cadetship.

“The training being provided is second to none and the college is doing everything possible to make sure we get all the information and help we need to get through this COVID situation.

“The end goal for me when qualified is to hopefully make my way to captain of a construction vessel in the renewable sector or captain of a platform supply vessel. I suppose the dream is to just push myself to be the best I can be.”

Everyone at Clyde Marine Training wishes Wayne every success in his training, and look forward to him achieving his goals.

We would also like to thank staff at The Nine for their permission in sharing this clip, and providing the footage.