Industry leading marine support

North Star cadet paves the way for women in the offshore industry

When Maria Persson was told her original seafaring cadet programme sponsor could not provide her with the offshore experience she needed to complete her training qualification, North Star stepped in to help her out with the necessary operational ship time to qualify. Since then, Maria has made a big splash at the company, securing a full-time position as one of the company’s 1,300 strong workforce earlier this summer.

North Star provides 24-hour emergency response services to 50 installations across the North Sea and has a growing fleet of offshore wind SOVs. The firm invests over £1million annually in its offshore cadet training initiative, which is the UK's longest serving programme of its type and has supported hundreds of people entering the maritime sector.  

Based out of North Star’s Lowestoft facilities, Maria spent her first deployment on board the 68m emergency response vessel, the Putford Jaguar. Her enthusiasm to learn quickly shone through and she spent the next year as a North Star deck cadet accumulating offshore skills and building on her theoretical knowledge.

During this time, she rubbed shoulders with the rest of the North Star crew, learning the ropes first-hand and putting her college learnings into practice. With glowing recommendations from North Star, Maria was awarded her Certificate of Competence which qualified her as an Officer of the Watch. She was then recommended internally for a permanent position onboard the Grampian Explorer, for which she was personally endorsed by the Master of the vessel.

Speaking on her time so far with the business, Maria said: “I was so excited when I heard North Star had agreed to assist me with my remaining time offshore so I could continue with my seafaring career ambitions. I was instantly made to feel very welcome by everyone and I’ve had many fantastic experiences including my trips onboard the Putford Jaguar, Putford Provider and the Grampian Explorer where everyone was extremely supportive. North Star really looks after its people and the crew have gone above and beyond to help my personal development. I feel very fortunate to be part of this business and motivated about what this next chapter holds for me.  

“I’ve also been very proud to accompany other members of the team to industry events like SNS2023 Vision 2030, where I’ve had the chance to see other aspects of the sector as well as how North Star operates across the east of England on a wider scale within offshore wind too.

“Now that I’ve joined the crew on a full-time basis, I’m looking forward to further supporting our operations and clients in the North Sea, and one day being promoted to join the crew onboard the company’s new SOV fleet and working in Europe.”

The UK’s leading vessel operator has recently received the first two of its new hybrid-powered SOVs, the Grampian Tyne and Grampian Derwent. It has a further two under construction as well as the first two of up to four CSOVs.  

Training Officer Emma Moore said, “From her first voyage, Maria was enthusiastic and hardworking, and we received excellent feedback from the crew onboard the Putford Jaguar. She was clearly the type of cadet we want to be a part of our permanent crew and, given her work ethic, attitude and professionalism, we were more than happy to recommend her for a position onboard the Grampian Explorer. We look forward to seeing how Maria flourishes in this role and what I’m sure will be a prosperous future at North Star.”

This article originally appeared in Wind Energy Network:

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Nov 3, 2023