Why is it so important to get young people engaged in the marine industry in the UK and where can it lead them professionally? Many young people find the school environment challenging and often present as difficult but when given the opportunity to work and learn in a totally different setting, flourish. We meet a very special young man who has broken the mould and shown his peers that he means business and we see how the gap between the sailing world and diving world meets.
Joe Swindale, 15 from Trafalgar School is a motivated and determined young man who is branching out into the marine industry with great enthusiasm and a motivation to learn. He started out with Portsmouth Sailing Training Trust, who are based in the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth and was chosen by his school because he was deemed to be disengaged and generally disruptive in school. A young person who needed some direction.
Since making the link with PSTT Joe has completely outdone himself and shows in every area that he loves the marine industry and has a thirst to develop himself within it. He has since been offered an apprenticeship and was helped to get an interview with RS Divers, a Commercial Dive company, also based in Portsmouth after he saw them working in the local marina and developed a natural fascination in them and the work they were doing.
John Gillard, a Principle at PSTT knew the guys over at RS Divers and met Ruben Stephenson, the Director several years before. Both men shared the same work ethic and foresight and became friends. The relationship between these two seemingly different businesses started to grow and John told us that in the beginning, when PSTT was first starting out, Ruben would lend them his rib for events. The strong belife in working with young people to build on aspirations was formed and the companies have since kept in good contact. PSTT describe Ruben and Rachel, who run RS Divers as passionate and very approachable people and said that the request about Joe working with them in the future was a natural progression and one that everyone was excited about to build on his work experience and lead him further into the industry.
So why Joe I asked, what was it about this young person that stood out? The answer came quickly. ‘Joe’s attitude is spot on! He is enthusiastic, has a good nature and most importantly is interested. He thinks about situations and asks sensible questions. He tries hard and has a great sense of humour. He pushed for the diving engagement over months and months, always politely asking and reminding us and that showed us how much he wanted to get into diving in the same way that he had fell in love with us at PSTT and all of the activities that we run here. He really was the perfect candidate and we are very proud to be able to help and support him.’
The hope for Joe for the future is that he gains as much experience with RS Divers as he can and enjoys the diving industry whilst gaining invaluable experience and qualifications. John’s main hope for Joe is that he continues to maintain his great attitude and sense of fun and goes on to have a rewarding and full life in the marine industry.
Diving and sailing experience builds resilience, boosts positive attitudes, inspires diligence, creates a willingness to contribute and participate and helps to develop strong values which encourage people to succeed and become successful adults. The life of a young person loaded with these skills out on and under the water bears vast windows on opportunity to work and travel and we are excited to follow Joe, RS Divers and PSTT to see what they get up to next!