Public Services students from Stratford-upon-Avon College were recently visited by members of the Royal Navy to learn about what life at sea entails and the opportunities on offer.
The students learnt about how the Navy prevents conflict, provide security, promote international partnerships, provide humanitarian assistance, protect the economy as well as being ready to fight if needed.
Warrant Officer John Thacker (44 years service) and Petty Officer Edmund Grandison (21 years service) explained to students how the Navy’s work effects our day to day lives. With 95% of all our goods and £524 billion in trade coming from overseas, keeping the seas safe is imperative for our economy and stock levels. John commented: “The Royal Navy is like the Emergency Services of the sea. If there is a fire, someone is in need or ill, it’s our job to help.”
The students also learnt about how the Navy can benefit them. There are 102 different trades in the Navy so there plenty of options to choose from. Additionally, there are constant opportunities to develop educationally; with opportunities to work towards NVQs GCSEs, BTECs as well as university level degrees. John added: “When I left school I had one GCSE. Now, because of the Navy I have two degrees; one in Electronic Engineering and one in Engineering Management.”
The students all then took part in a practical exercise. John and Edmund described a scenario where the students had to create a small paper rocket and see how far it could be propelled. Edmund explained: “If you are at sea and need saving, you would want a flare to go as high as possible. This exercise is about listening and working together. Additionally, from an engineering perspective, it allows you to learn from experience and develop skills and that is what it’s all about.”
The students started with a presentation and then worked on a practical exercise
The students found the experience really insightful. Evie Drinkwater really enjoyed the day, commenting: “I’ve loved this experience. It has been really informative. I have been able to ask questions that have been answered thoroughly and the activity was engaging. I had thought about a career in the Navy before but this visit has definitely pushed me more in that direction.” Anastasia Makedonopoulou added: “I found it really interesting; being able to travel around the world for this job is definitely something appealing to me.”
Lecturer Oliver Wilkins is very glad to have had the Royal Navy visit: “It’s great for the students to see what the Royal Navy does and the opportunities on offer. With 102 different trades, there is something for everyone. Really we want the students to get exposure to as many different services as possible.”