SMA News

Calum Miller lives in Stonehaven and is in the final year at Mackie Academy. Each Friday he travels to Peterhead to the Scottish Maritime Academy to join a class of students enrolled in the Schools Links programme - Maritime Skills.

This National 5 qualification allows candidates to start to develop the general and practical skills, and the knowledge and understanding, needed to work in the maritime sector. On successful completion of the course students will be in a strong position for progressing towards further maritime training or employment after leaving school.

Calum found out about the course through researching online and he spoke to teachers about how he could attend this class alongside studying for 3 Highers.

“Boats are my hobby and that’s what I want to do when I leave school” he said. “I sail in my spare time and I’ve been a member of the sea cadets since I was 10. I was very keen to attend this course and so I’ve been travelling on the bus every Friday – until I got my driving licence that is! “

Calum has been accepted on to the Merchant Navy Cadetship programme where after his training, which will take up to 4 years to complete, he will qualified as a Deck Officer.

“I want to work on cruise liners and get experience on big vessels with lots of people so that I gain a wide range of responsibility of managing different kinds of groups. I am aiming to be a Captain eventually. The Maritime Skills course has been really good. I’ve got a lot of experience in the maritime environment but I’m still learning. It’s really helped - even just being here. I’ve picked up lots of information from the class and speaking with the lecturers.”

The Maritime Skills course is delivered in Peterhead at the Scottish Maritime Academy, a centre of excellence of North East Scotland College. The course consists of the following units:

Seamanship: An Introduction

Maritime Environment: An Introduction

Small Boat Engineering

Health and Safety in the Maritime Sector

Employability Skills and Careers in the Maritime Sector

Throughout the course pupils will develop a range of key transferrable skills, including self-management, organisational and planning skills, and strong commercial awareness.

This Schools Links course is part of a larger programme of courses offered to school pupils in in the Senior phase of Curriculum for Excellence where pupils can access a wide range of part-time College courses as part of the school timetable. More information can be found here.

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