Meet our Apprentices

It’s National Apprenticeship Week and a time to meet our apprentices. Find out what they do and what attracted them to the apprenticeship scheme.

Able Seafarer/Deck Rating Apprenticeships

Our Able Seafarer/Deck Rating Apprenticeship scheme started in 2016 with the apprentices going on to secure full-time employment.

Seafarer on ship

Fergal McCloskey, Apprentice Able Seafarer

Fergal is Apprentice Able Seafarer with NLB. He started his apprenticeship in September 2023.

“This has been a great way to start a career at sea. The Northern Lighthouse Board offers a wide range of training and opportunities that you wouldn’t get with the average 9-5 job. So far, I’ve been involved with helicopter operations, buoy work, ship maintenance, and the launching of the rescue boat and rib.

“The highlight of the job has been getting to travel to so many different places in Scotland and meeting new people. I would highly recommend an apprenticeship. It’s a great way of learning on the job while earning a salary.”


Two seafarers on a ship

Shaun Lockhart, Apprentice Able Seafarer

Shaun (pictured above right) also started his apprenticeship in September 2023.

“I applied for the apprenticeship because I was looking for a change and I really liked what the apprenticeship was offering. The job is great and so varied. One day you could be doing buoy work and the next flying out in the helicopter to lighthouses.”

Fergal and Shaun combine sea training on NLB’s ships with nautical training at City of Glasgow College, Maritime Education and Training Faculty.

Engineering Apprenticeships

Our first Engineering Apprentices completed their training in 2021 and are now employed as full-time Technicians. Shaun and Morgan are the latest recruits and both began their apprenticeships in August 2021.

Technician in lighthouse tower with LED light

Shaun Kavanagh, Electrical Engineering Apprentice

“The apprenticeship gives me hands on experience while continuing my studies at college, and I’m earning a wage. I get to work on a wide range of electrical equipment which is essential to keeping the lighthouses operational. This can vary from batteries and battery chargers to monitoring systems. These help us to know what’s happening at a station without having to actually be there.

“The highlight of my apprenticeship so far has to be a site visit to the Bell Rock. This was my first pillar rock lighthouse and my first time in the helicopter. The Bell is the world’s oldest working sea-washed lighthouse so it was quite an opportunity to be able to stay and work there.” 

“If you are looking to gain a qualification in electrical or mechanical engineering, I would recommend an apprenticeship with NLB. You’ll not only be improving yourself by going through various amounts of training but you will be doing this while travelling to places that many people don’t get to see.”


Man in orange boiler suit working on ship's engine

Morgan Dennison, Mechanical Engineering Apprentice

Morgan applied for the apprenticeship as he was keen on pursuing a career in engineering.

“My work involves travelling to different lighthouses where I do mechanical maintenance and breakdowns. This involves working on generators and doing dome work. 

“I’ve recently been involved in the PHAROS refit where I’ve been stripping and rebuilding one of the main generators. This has been a real highlight of my apprenticeship.

“I’d recommend an apprenticeship to any young person who wants to develop their skills and knowledge whilst earning a wage”

Shaun and Morgan combine study at Forth Valley College with practical on the job training.

What next?

If you are interested in an apprenticeship with us, keep an eye on our website and social media channels for any future opportunities.

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Fiona Holmes
Communications Officer
T: 0131 473 3100
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