Laura Pankhurst, 20, was referred to UKSA’s Aweigh Ahead course by JobCentre Plus in Southampton. She wants to go into marine engineering so she thought the course sounded a good fit and an opportunity to find out more about the marine industry.

She explained: “Coming from Southampton I have lived around boats for so long and I also joined the Sea Cadets where I enjoyed the engineering aspect. I thought this course would give me some boating experience because it’s difficult to get into marine engineering – they want you to have experience but it’s hard to get it. I also suffer with nerves and this course should really help.”

Laura is enjoying the course and for her work experience element she helped out on the John Laing sailing ship in Southampton for Ocean Youth Trust South. She found the challenge of stripping paintwork, prepping and making good really invigorating. She also volunteers on HMS Medusa in Gosport, so she found it interesting to compare the vessels.

Laura commented: “I will definitely use what I’ve learnt on the Aweigh Ahead course. The knowledge and experience will really help me when applying for jobs in the industry.”