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Nathan Bray completed the 'Maritime Futures' training programme in February. The course is an accredited training course for anyone wanting to enter a career working at sea.

We caught up with Nathan following the course.

Tell us more about yourself

I am Nathan Bray and 25 years-old.

As a care leaver it is hard to get a job whether it’s to do with mental health issues or other challenges.

I didn’t have the best start in life but compared to where I started and where I am now, I have come on leaps and bounds. Life could have been a lot different. If I can achieve this, then other people can achieve it as well. I am feeling pretty proud. It just shows if you put your mind to things and you can achieve what you want!

When did you complete the course?

I completed the Maritime Futures training programme in February 2023, it was a three-week training course.

Nathan graduates from the training course

Since completing the Maritime Futures course, what have you done?

I found a job quite soon after completing the course and was meant to start at sea in April but unfortunately it fell through as the company lost one of their ships and had to find work for their employees. It wasn’t meant to be.

I then sent my CV off to SMS Towage on the Monday and they offered the job me a two-year apprenticeship on the Wednesday.

I have been to Whitby to complete the food hygiene, health and safety, and radio courses.

I started work on 19 July and went to Whitby to do various courses. I started work, doing two weeks on and two weeks off, from 9 August. Based out of Immingham, working on the Trueman, a fairly new tug with all the mod cons! I will be connecting lines, make sure they’re safe. I will also be going to college too, to complete further engineering courses.

Nathan is now working out of Immingham on the Trueman
Working long hours

What did you do before the course?

I worked at Hull City Council as a Regeneration Champion for 6/7 months, this is a role for young people leaving the care system. I then moved to KFC, between November 2022 – July 2023

What encouraged you apply for the course?

I spoke about going to sea and my best friend worked on a cruise ship and family work at sea so I thought I would give it a shot. Why not!

Have you always wanted to work at sea?

I was in sea cadets when I was younger and another reason why I wanted to do it as a living. Not many lads want to get into it and it’s a dying trade, it’s good that the like of Kier and Len can share their knowledge on to others.

How did you find out about the course?

My social worker told me about the training and had an interview over the phone.

Kier from East Coast Maritime Training did the interview and delivered the course. Kier has been brilliant and supportive, we’re still in touch now.

What did you learn?

It was great to learn the basics and the main overview of what expect when working out at sea. It gave me a great insight of what it will be like.

What was your highlight?

I really enjoyed building the rafts, at Kelsey Gardens. We had to think about the stability, the seamanship, work in a team etc to make sure it floated. I managed to stay out of the water! It was a great laugh as well as learning.

Nathan and other trainees learn about navigation
Raft building at Kelsey Gardens

What is your proudest achievement?

Having two children and now being able to provide them and getting the full-time job.

Would you recommend the course to others who are looking to start a career at sea?

Absolutely, I have recommended it to others. If I can do it, then others can too!

Nathan started work out of Immingham on 9 August
Learning the ropes