“A good company, good experience and good craic” is how the apprentices who are on MJM Marine Apprenticeship Programme sum up their experience to date.

When they speak about the excellent mentors and craftsmen who are training them and the future opportunities which are open to them, it is clear that the five young men we spoke to are delighted to be part of the MJM Marine Apprenticeship Programme.

At just sixteen years of age, Caolan Griffin joined the MJM Marine apprenticeship programme in Furniture Making and Specialist Joinery and is already enjoying the benefits.

“I always wanted to start work as soon as I could leave school and get a trade that I would have for life,” explains Caolan. “At MJM Marine, we have a great mentor who is teaching us everything he knows so we can develop the skills to become part of the team very quickly.  We get to go to the “Tech” once a week for more practical training and we get paid!”

Shea Rooney is the second year of the MJM Marine Apprenticeship Programme and see it as a starting point to progress throughout the company and already has an eye on design. “I’ve an interest in design as well as joinery and would like to go into design in the future.  The good thing about MJM Marine is that there are plenty of opportunities to move up within the company.  Our mentor, Colm Cunningham, started out as an apprentice joiner with MJM Marine and is now a Contracts Director.”

Last year Shea recently took part in the SkillsBuild competition in Southern Regional College where he finished third – a great result considering he had only four months experience in joinery at that time. “The Skillsbuild competition was a great experience and gave me a real boost as I was competing against 2nd and 3rd year apprentices.  I definitely think I did so well thanks to the training I’m getting at MJM Marine.”

For Niall Casey, now a third-year apprentice, the MJM Marine Programme meant he could leave school when he completed his GCSEs and start work immediately. “The biggest thing for me is that I am earning good money as I am learning my trade.  I know people who have gone to university and have student loans that they will have to pay off in the future.  When I finish my apprenticeship, I have savings rather than debt and I’ll have a qualified trade for life!”

Philip Newell is also a third-year apprentice who signed up to the MJM Marine Apprenticeship Programme after speaking their employees at the Southern Regional College open day. “I wanted to get a trade that I’ll have for life. I was interested in joinery but I didn’t want to do site work.  At MJM Marine, I’m working in a workshop with joiners and craftsmen and getting great one-to-one experience.  I’m learning loads from them and I’m earning good money which is a great.”

MJM Marine is currently recruiting for their 2020 Apprenticeship Programme and will be attending the Big Apprenticeship Event at Southern Regional College Newry on 6th February.  Anyone interested in more information should come along to SRC or email emma.keenan@mjmmarine.com.