“It’s worked for me; 17 years on and I’m still happily working all over the UK as a dive supervisor for Kaymac. Not one day is the same being a diver; my career development has been vast over the last 17 years with the support from Kaymac, gaining hands on experience from the beginning. If I hadn’t started the mechanical engineering and commercial diving apprenticeship scheme with Kaymac at the age of 17, I don’t know what I would be doing now” Alan Byrne, 34, Kaymac Dive Supervisor.
About Kaymac’s Commercial Diving Apprenticeship Scheme
The scheme started in 1998 with our first ever apprentice, Alan Byrne. Alan started as an apprentice fitter with Kaymac in April 1998 aged 17, now 34, 17 years on and married with two children he is still working for Kaymac today as a dive supervisor. Alan’s thoughts on the scheme... “It’s worked for me; 17 years on and I’m still happily working all over the UK for Kaymac as a dive supervisor. Not one day is the same being a diver; my career development has been vast over the last 17 years with the support from Kaymac, gaining hands on experience from the beginning. If I hadn’t started the mechanical engineering and commercial diving apprenticeship scheme at the age of 17 I don’t know what I would be doing now”
Kaymac work with local schools and colleges, taking on students for work experience each year, and employ one apprentice every 2 years. The successful apprentice usually applies for the apprenticeship immediately after finishing school at the age of 16. Since the start of the scheme in 1998, Kaymac has put 8 successful apprentices through the scheme, with only 2 leaving to work offshore and the remaining 6 still working here today.
"It’s a big step, and one that requires total commitment, but the returns are substantial and marine/subsea work can offer an exciting and rewarding career"
The scheme involves the following:
- 3 Years Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship with hands on training in maintenance of diving and civil engineering mechanical equipment, with day release to college
- 12 Week commercial diving course in South Africa
- 4th year of apprenticeship is with a dive team on site for as a ‘baby diver’ to gain experience
- On completion of the 4 year apprenticeship the individual is them a fully skilled tradesman Commercial Diver with 1 year experience.
Kaymac provide appropriate support, supervision and training for the apprentice, in a safe manner, in all areas of work throughout.
Requirements for the scheme;
- Minimum of 5 GCSE’s C and above to include Maths and English Language
- An interest in engineering
- A can-do attitude
Benefits of the Apprenticeship scheme
There are many benefits of this apprenticeship scheme to the individual and the company; as diving is only a means of getting to the job to complete a task, on completion of the commercial diving and mechanical engineering apprenticeship the individual is a skilled tradesman, skilled engineer, and is the appropriate person to undertake work tasks for a client underwater as a fitter and mechanical engineer working on their assets or project.
The apprentice will get first-hand knowledge of how the industry works. There are plenty of other reasons why you should apply when you leave school or college, and it's always a good idea to talk to a teacher or careers advisor about the best route into your dream job, but here are some points to persuade you into checking out the opportunities available:
Earn while you Learn
Apprenticeships enable you to start working and earn a wage while you learn key skills, gain the qualifications that employers want, and will be an advantage to you in your future in engineering. As your skills progress your pay will too.
Whilst on your apprenticeship, you'll be treated like a regular employee of Kaymac in that you'll get a certain amount of paid holiday per year in addition to bank holidays.
One of the largest advantages of getting the qualifications you need in your field, while being able to put the skills you learn into practise at the same time, is that someone will always be on-hand to show you how things are done. If you have any questions about techniques, terminology or anything related to engineering, you can instantly ask your supervisor.
Few Diving contractors directly employ their divers; usually divers are self employed and work for these contractors as and when required. Kaymac is different; we directly employ all of our Divers and Civil engineers on PAYE. Whilst there is an additional cost of 13.8% Employers Nation Insurance together with holiday pay, training and other benefits, costs that our competitors do not incur, Kaymac believe that by continued permanent employment of its workforce teams encourages loyalty, and most importantly provides regular team faces on site to our clients, giving clients confidence in the services we provide.
We at Kaymac believe that all of our workforce should take appropriate training, and we are proud of our career development program that is fully funded by Kaymac. One of our core values is that we invest in our people, and have a good working conditions providing and funding for everything from transport and training to dive suits and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Some of the training we provide as standard is listed below:
- H.S.E Commercial Diver Training
- Health and Safety
- Forward tipping Dumper
- Excavator Training
- Appointed Person (lifting operations)
- Confined Space
- Street works Excavation Reinstatement training
- PTS (Personal Track Safety)
- CSCS (Construction
- Construction Site Supervisor Safety Certificate
- Construction Site Managers Safety Certificate
- Environmental Awareness
- CITB Site safety plus
Kaymac’s Commercial Diving Apprentices Testimonials
“I started with Kaymac when I was 16 as a labourer on site. My plan initially was to be a civil engineer, but a few months later the Commercial Diving Apprenticeship was offered to me and I took it with both hands. As the apprenticeship and my training in college progressed I found I really enjoyed welding, and I was good at it! 13 years on I specialise in underwater welding for Kaymac, I’m grateful for the opportunity from Kaymac and would encourage others to do an apprenticeship” Ricky Ford, 29. Diver. 2002’ s Apprentice
“The apprenticeship gave me a good starting opportunity fresh from school. I learned a great deal during the 3 years; at college I initially learned how to use fault finding systems and repair hydraulics and pneumatics, that gave me skills I could take back to Kaymac’s workshop, where I had the support of the workshop foreman to fix equipment properly. I didn’t take the diving course that was offered to me, I prefer to be more hands on and maintain the mechanical equipment used on site and in the workshop, but I have been able to buy my own house since I completed my apprenticeship!” Ben Dark, 24, Workshop Manager. 2007’s Apprentice.
“I decided to apply for this apprenticeship because I have an interest in diving and engineering. I know one of the past apprentices, Ricky, and have seen his career flourish over the years, and seen the cars he has been able to buy! I have nearly completed my first year of the apprenticeship, and I enjoy coming to work, not just because I have interest in engineering, but because the staff here are very knowledgeable and great to work with, I even enjoy going to college 1 day a week, which is surprising because I never really liked school. I am looking forward to doing the 12 week commercial diving course in South Africa in 2 years time” 2014’s Apprentice. Rhys, 17.