Isle of Man Maritime Cadet Awarded Top Graduating Student 2018

Isle of Man V.Ships/MEF (Maritime Educational Foundation) Cadet, Rory O’Connor has been awarded Top Graduating Cadet for 2018 at Fleetwood Nautical College. The award was presented by Trinity House Deputy Captain, Captain Ian McNaught, at the Fleetwood Nautical College Summer Graduation on the 6th July.

Lee Clarke, Cadet Training Manager at V.Ships (UK) Limited, commented:

‘It gives me great pleasure to announce that Rory has been awarded Top Graduating Cadet for 2018 at Fleetwood Nautical College. Rory has been a cadet with us since September 2015 and has been a true ambassador for the Island’s maritime industry and a huge promoter of our Isle of Man Scheme.’

The Isle of Man cadet scheme matches funding that is available to UK cadets from the UK SMarT scheme, which is not available to Manx resident cadets.

The Isle of Man Department for Enterprise partners with sponsoring companies in the Isle of Man to cover up to 50% of cadets’ training costs for Merchant Navy Training Board cadet programmes.  V.Ships and Shell are two of the Island based companies who are also members of Isle of Man Maritime, that currently have cadets enrolled in the scheme.

The remainder of funding is available from the Maritime Educational Foundation (MEF), a shipping industry charitable organisation that provides additional funding to around 45-90 trainee officers recruited and managed by its contracted training providers each year.

Isle of Man Ship Registry Director, Dick Welsh, commented:

‘The Department for Enterprise is delighted to be able to support the scheme to ensure that Manx cadets are able to access the same levels of funding and opportunities as cadets in the UK. Rory has really flown the flag for the Isle of Man and excelled at college. Our congratulations go to him.

’It is important to the maritime industry on the Isle of Man to attract cadets from secondary schools to take the first steps towards a rewarding  maritime career by enrolling on a Merchant Navy officer cadetship with one of our local companies. This will allow the Isle of Man to develop its maritime leaders of the future and continue the success of the Isle of Man as a leading maritime centre.

‘A cadetship provides fully supported learning with periods at college and periods at sea. This can lead to a degree with zero debt and professional seagoing qualifications, which can ultimately lead to being a Captain or Chief Engineer in a global industry and opportunities thereafter in the wider maritime industry which supports world trade.’

A careers team made up from members of the Isle of Man Ship Registry, BP, Shell, and V.Ships regularly visit secondary schools to present careers information on merchant navy cadetships as an alternative route of higher education to students. If you’re interested in finding out more about the scheme or becoming a sponsoring company please contact

Image: Cadet, Rory O’Connor and Lee Clarke, V.Ships