NAFC Student Awards

Seventeen students received awards on Friday at the NAFC Marine Centre UHI’s annual prize-giving ceremony.

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NAFC student award winners 2016-17 with NAFC staff and guests (full list of names at end of article).

The awards recognised the students’ achievements during the academic year 2016/17 across a range of disciplines that include aquaculture, fishing, engineering and navigation. The presentations were made before an invited audience by David Sandison (Chair, NAFC Board of Trustees), Simon Collins (NAFC Trustee) and guest Commodore Mike Bullock MBE.

Commodore Bullock is Chief Executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board (which sponsors two of the prizes awarded) having retired from the Royal Navy with that rank after a naval career of 34 years. During that time he served in a total of six ships and submarines, including the Submarine HMS Revenge and the Aircraft Carrier HMS Illustrious, as well as the British Embassy in Washington DC and NATO Headquarters in London.

The prize-winners are only a few of the more than 1,300 students that enrolled on full or part-time courses at the NAFC Marine Centre over the last academic year (equivalent to more than 150 full-time students).

The full list of prizes awarded:

Aquaculture

Jim Tait Prize for Aquaculture

(sponsored by the Hunter & Morrison Trust)

The Jim Tait Prize for Aquaculture for the best student completing a Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture (SCQF Level 5) was awarded to Ross Johnson of Cooke Aquaculture, based in Yell.

Ross has shown exceptional practical ability and know-how in all aspects of salmon farming during his apprenticeship, including the use of boats, cranes and feeding systems, and his written work was all completed to a high standard.

Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation Award

(sponsored by the Scottish Salmon Producer’s Organisation)

The Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation Award for the best student completing a Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture (SCQF Level 7) was awarded jointly to Matthew Dade and Gary Buchan. Both work for Grieg Seafood Shetland, Mathew at their Setter Ness site and Gary at their Girlsta Hatchery.

Matthew is a chef to trade but has become a brilliant salmon farmer since joining Grieg Seafood two years ago. He has shown a wide range of abilities while completing his apprenticeship, with a very mature attitude towards everything he does, and is a well-liked person at work.

Gary has been working as fish hatchery technician for 2 years and has progressed extremely well since starting his apprenticeship.  He has shown total dedication to his work and been a fantastic person to work with, and is hoping to go on to complete a Technical Apprenticeship.

Stuart Fitzsimmons (NAFC’s Section Leader for Aquaculture Training) commented that it had been very difficult to choose winners from all those undertaking modern apprenticeships in aquaculture over the past year (45 in total): “All of our apprentices have shown excellent progress but we have chosen Ross, Matthew and Gary for their exceptional practical and theoretical knowledge as well as their outstanding team-work.”

Fishing

Modern Apprenticeship in Sea Fishing

(sponsored by the Hunter & Morrison Trust)

The prize for the best student to have completed a Modern Apprenticeship in Sea Fishing was awarded to Christopher Irvine of the local whitefish trawler Courageous (LK 470).

Christopher had progressed to an apprenticeship after completing a Vocational Pathways programme in Maritime Skills at NAFC while still at school, and the three-week Introduction to Commercial Fishing Course. He worked consistently well during his apprenticeship and has since gone on to successfully complete his Class 2 Skipper’s Ticket.

Jeanette Williamson Prize

(sponsored by the Hunter & Morrison Trust)

The Jeanette Williamson Prize for the best student to have completed their Deck Officer (Fishing Vessel) Class 2 Certificate of Competency (Class 2 Skipper's Ticket) was awarded to Stuart Eunson of the local pelagic trawler Serene (LK 297).

Stuart is from a fishing background, with his father also having completed his Class 2 and Class 1 fishing skipper’s tickets at NAFC. After studying Naval Architecture at university and working south of a number of years Stuart returned to Shetland in 2010 and joined his father on the Serene. He has embraced his new career with cheerful dedication and applied himself well to his studies, showing a mature and conscientious attitude throughout the course.

Engineering

Jim Thomas Memorial Prize

(sponsored by the NAFC Marine Centre)

The Jim Thomas Memorial Prize for the shore-based engineering student who has best displayed the qualities treasured and promoted by the late NAFC engineering lecturer Jim Thomas was jointly awarded to Jack Smith (Johnson Marine Ltd) and Ross Coutts (HNP Engineers Ltd).

Jack and Ross are both described as brilliant students with outstanding technical abilities, a passion for engineering and a willingness to help others. Both had completed project work during their apprenticeships to a very high standard – a quad trailer by Jack and a bale lifter by Ross – both now in regular use around their family crofts.

NAFC Modern Apprentice of the Year (Engineering) Prize

(sponsored by the NAFC Marine Centre)

The NAFC Modern Apprentice of the Year (Engineering) Prize for the best student completing a Modern Apprenticeship in Engineering was awarded to Stuart Anderson.

Stuart works for Grieg Seafood Shetland at their salmon processing factory in Lerwick. He is described as a very focussed and talented young engineer who had shown a remarkable depth of knowledge and understanding of the electro-mechanical fish processing equipment in the factory. This had extended to the point of suggesting and successfully implementing modifications to the original manufacturer’s design whilst still an apprentice.

NAFC Engineering Foundation Apprentice of the Year Prize

(sponsored by the NAFC Marine Centre)

The NAFC Engineering Foundation Apprentice of the Year Prize for the best student completing a Foundation Apprenticeship in Engineering was awarded to Shane Odie.

Shane first demonstrated his interest in engineering while at school and attended NAFC on the Engineering Skills for Work course during his 3rd and 4th years. He then went on to enrol on the new Foundation Apprenticeship course in Engineering during his 5th and 6th years. This included a work placement at Ocean Kinetics which led to him successfully applying for a Modern Apprenticeship there. Shane was a conscientious student, dedicated to his studies, who showed a good aptitude for both the theoretical and practical aspects of engineering and a strong commitment to pursuing a career in this field.

Merchant Navy Deck Officer Cadets

Nautical Institute Prize

(sponsored by the Shetland Branch of the Nautical Institute)

The Nautical Institute Prize for endeavour and achievement by a first year Deck Cadet was awarded to Adrian Reid.

Adrian is described as a pleasant and very positive student who is very often found assisting his class mates. He works hard and as a result has achieved very good results in his exams.

Adrian is sponsored by Marineco UK Ltd through Clyde Marine Training.

Bells Nautical Trust Prize

(sponsored by the Bells Nautical Trust)

The Bells Nautical Trust Prize for outstanding effort and achievement by a Deck Cadet in their final year was awarded to Declan Fraser.

Declan overcame a number of challenges to successfully complete his cadetship, achieving excellent results in his oral and written exams. He has performed consistently well in his classes and been interested, pleasant and helpful to his classmates and lecturers throughout.

Declan was sponsored by “K” Line (Europe) Ltd through Clyde Marine Training.

Northern Lighthouse Board Prize for a Deck Cadet

(sponsored by the Northern Lighthouse Board)

The Northern Lighthouse Board Prize for a Deck Cadet awarded to the best Deck Cadet in their group in terms of academic achievement, excellence in assessment and consistent professional performance was awarded to Aidan Redpath by Commodore Bullock, Chief Executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board.

Aidan is a hardworking and pleasant student who has remained focused on his studies throughout his training and achieved excellent results in all of his assessments. He is always happy to help his classmates and shows a keen interest in the shipping industry. He even comes in to NAFC during his time off to help the more junior cadet groups.

Aidan is sponsored by Northstar Shipping through the Ship Safe Training Group (SSTG).

Clyde Marine Prize for a Deck Cadet

(sponsored by Clyde Marine Training)

The Clyde Marine Prize for a Deck Cadet was awarded to Iain Derbyshire.

Robynn Gray (Training Officer at Clyde Marine Training) commented that “Iain has gone from strength to strength throughout his cadetship and has received excellent shipboard reports throughout his training, therefore I am confident that he will excel in his chosen career. He is very personable by nature, which has allowed him to form productive relationships with his peers and staff. Iain should be very proud of himself for all his achievements.”

Iain was sponsored by Vroon Offshore Services through Clyde Marine Training.

Merchant Navy Engineer Officer Cadets

North Star Shipping Prize

(sponsored by North Star Shipping)

The North Star Shipping Prize for excellent effort and achievement by an Engineering Cadet was awarded to Scott Marnoch.

Scott has been a dedicated and hardworking cadet throughout his programme and has always performed well in his assessments.

He is sponsored by Northstar Shipping through the Ship Safe Training Group (SSTG).

Northern Lighthouse Board Prize for an Engineering Cadet

(sponsored by the Northern Lighthouse Board)

The Northern Lighthouse Board Prize for an Engineering Cadet awarded to the best cadet in their group in terms of academic achievement, excellence in assessment and consistent professional performance was awarded to Ross MacFarlane.

Ross is an able student who has achieved excellent results in all of his assessments. He works diligently in class and asks questions when needed. He also performs well in a practical setting and is always happy to assist his classmates.

Vroon Offshore Services through Clyde Marine Training.

Clyde Marine Prize for an Engineering Cadet

(sponsored by Clyde Marine Training)

The Clyde Marine Prize for an Engineering Cadet was awarded to Jack Spence.

Robynn Gray (Training Officer at Clyde Marine Training) commented that “Jack has progressed well throughout his training, showing the signs of becoming a very competent engineering Officer. He has worked well within the NAFC Marine Centre, utilising the skills gained to work on board a vessel, and has shown dedication and hard work in every aspect of his training.”

Jack is sponsored by GulfMark UK Ltd through Clyde Marine Training.

UHI NAFC Student of the Year

The UHI NAFC Student of the Year Award was awarded to engineer officer cadet Bryden Jacobson.

Bryden was nominated for this award in recognition of his perseverance, motivation and commitment to a career as a marine engineer which he decided at a young age that he wished to pursue. He has been a hard-working and attentive student, pleasant, cheerful and courteous to his peers and staff alike, and has put in a lot of hard work to complete his training. The sea-going phases of his training saw Bryden circumnavigate the world by the time he was 19, but he also volunteers on the local sail training vessel Swan.

Bryden is sponsored by Caledonian MacBrayne through Clyde Marine Training.

Photograph

NAFC student award winners 2016-17 with NAFC staff and guests:

Back Row (L-R)

  • Commodore Mike Bullock (Northern Lighthouse Board)
  • Mark Fullerton (NAFC, Section Leader Fisheries & Nautical Training)
  • Jack Smith (Jim Thomas Memorial Prize)
  • David Sandison (Chair, NAFC Board of Trustees)
  • Bryden Jacobson (UHI NAFC Student of the Year)
  • Simon Collins (NAFC Trustee)
  • Ross Johnson (Jim Tait Prize for Aquaculture)
  • Callum Smedley (NAFC, Senior Engineering Lecturer)
  • Shane Odie (NAFC Engineering Foundation Apprentice of the Year)
  • Stuart Fitzsimmons (NAFC, Section Leader - Aquaculture Training)
  • Adrian Reid (Nautical Institute Prize)
  • Laura Burden (NAFC, Head of Merchant Navy Cadet Programme)
  • Gary Buchan (Scottish Salmon Producers' Award)

Seated

  • Aidan Redpath (Northern Lighthouse Board Prize for a Deck Cadet)
  • Scott Marnoch (North Star Shipping Prize)
  • Stuart Eunson (Jeanette Williamson Prize)
  • Ross Coutts (Jim Thomas Memorial Prize)
  • Matthew Dade (Scottish Salmon Producers' Award)
  • Stuart Anderson (NAFC Modern Apprentice of the Year - Engineering)

Not Present

  • Christopher Irvine (Modern Apprenticeship in Sea Fishing)
  • Declan Fraser (Bells Nautical Trust Prize)
  • Iain Derbyshire (Clyde Marine Prize for a Deck Cadet)
  • Ross MacFarlane (Northern Lighthouse Board Prize for an Engineer Cadet)