NORTH-EAST maritime experts have switched to a different wavelength to help would-be seafarers navigate the stormy waters of coronavirus to launch their careers.

Staff at world-leading South Shields Marine School are going online for a special one-day event via a new virtual portal to relay in-depth information about life in the Merchant Navy.

The portal will allow potential recruits to connect with lecturers and representatives of major shipping companies at the touch of a button and from the comfort of home.

Via a live chat facility, and through live webinars, they can chat to those in the know about what it takes to enter and qualify for well-paid and secure careers at sea.

Bosses at the award-winning marine school have created the Virtual Maritime Careers Day to overcome Covid travel restrictions and virus fears which could have led some recruits to miss out.

It will be live from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, November 28 – anyone interested should sign up online in advance.

Those taking part can find out about opportunities with the Merchant Navy, including positions as officers in deck, engine and electro-technical (ETO).

They can also get information about course fees and finance and how to start their applications, and take a virtual tour of the marine school and its facilities.

New recruits, as well as more experienced seafarers seeking to update their qualifications, can engage by taking part in live webinars and question and answer sessions throughout the day.

Marine school Principal, Simon Ashton, said: “Our teaching and instruction is innovative, and so is this vitally important recruitment event.

“The maritime sector requires a consistent level of new recruits, who are essential to maintaining world trade at its required level.

“The pandemic has thrown up numerous challenges to us in the way we are able to carry out our training programmes.

“We have innovated by moving courses online, while also having as many student cadets learning onsite as possible.

“Our careers’ days are always well-attended and a great success, and there was no way we were not going to go ahead with our November event.

“It provides a fantastic opportunity for people who are thinking about a career at sea to find out exactly how they can do that.

“Our lecturers will be on hand to engage remotely, and I’m delighted that representatives of the major shipping firms who employ recruits, are also taking part.

“A career at sea can be hugely rewarding in terms of pay and also, crucially, job satisfaction and opportunity.

“I hope would-be recruits will take this opportunity to engage with us and kick their careers.”

Qualified cadets enjoy well-paid careers, working on a variety of vessels in the modern Merchant Navy.

These include container ships, cruise liners, ferries, oil and gas tankers, chemical carriers, bulk carriers, cable layers, car carriers, supply and support vessels and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.

South Shields Marine School was established in 1861 and is the world’s oldest purpose-built maritime training centre.

Its far-ranging expertise is such that it was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2019 for its work in maritime computer modelling.

Influential to its award success was its work supporting Tengizchevroil, Kazakhstan’s state oil company to develop a port and waterway on the Caspian Sea to serve the expansion of the giant Tenzig oilfield.

It also made key computer simulations that ensured Britain’s two new aircraft carriers safely reached the North Sea from their berth on the Firth of Forth in 2017.

To find out more and register visit:

Information about South Shields Marine School is provision is at or on 0191 427 3517.