Pearl Seaways

Press Release

Date: 31/01/2020

  • Ceremony: Friday January 31 2020
  • On board Delft Seaways to Dunkerque
  • National Apprenticeships Week: Feb 3 – 7 2020

Apprentices graduate on board to begin their careers as able seamen

Seven seamen who joined the award-winning ferry operator DFDS’s maritime apprenticeship scheme graduate on Friday January 31st with the formal ceremony taking place on board the Delft Seaways.

The apprentices are the fifth cohort who have realised their dreams of a sea faring career having joined their 2-year DFDS maritime apprenticeship programme in 2017. The scheme is now on its sixth programme.

When DFDS launched its apprenticeships, which it hopes will deliver the ships Captains and Chief Engineers of the future, it was the first maritime company to offer them in recent years.

Vice President of Human Resources and Crewing, Gemma Griffin MBE, said: ‘We want to reach out particularly to people in the Dover and surrounding areas to say there are great careers and opportunities for you in DFDS. Each apprentice who is qualified and meets all their targets is guaranteed a job with us when they finish. The right people can go all the way and we have a lot of examples of that in DFDS – we have Captains and Chief Engineers who began their careers as apprentices and cadets.’

The deck scheme enables trainees to become fully qualified Able Bodied Seafarers. The engine scheme enables trainees to become ABS (Eng) with further workshop skills training to the ultimate goal of becoming a Fitter.

The 2020 graduates are: Deck Apprentices Nikolas Mouzakitis, Harry Buhlman, Laurence Worton, and Bradley Hardy, all from Dover and David Badham, from Deal.

Engine Apprentices Jake Pearson, Folkestone and Jordan Hughes-Boyce, Ramsgate.

The apprenticeship programmes last from 18-24 months with onboard training and courses in the classroom based at North Kent College.

In first instance apprenticeships were offered to family and friends of current employees and to qualify, recruits had to: – • Live in Dover or surrounding areas • Aged between 17 years and 6 months and 24 years • Minimum of Grade C in GCSE Maths and English/Functional Skills • Medically fit and able to pass Medical Fitness Test • Willing to live on board and live away from home during College phase

The first four weeks training begin with aspects of seamanship and workshop scenarios. The MNTB designed Apprenticeship course is a two-year training programme which gives students the foundation for a career at sea. During their apprenticeship, the students spend significant periods of time at sea, learning how to maintain the safety and security of the vessel, cargo and personnel on board, and undertaking a range of practical seafarer skills covering ropework, anchoring and mooring activities and operations.

Note to Editors: If you would like to join the apprentices and their families to watch their passing out on Friday January 31 2020, meeting at the Dover Marina hotel, Waterloo Cres, Dover CT17 9BP at 1230hrs to board a coach that will transport you to the vessel (Delft Seaways) at 1300hrs for the 1400hrs departure. You must have your passport.


For further press information, please contact: Michelle Ulyatt / Sandy Fleming / Steve Loader Roch PR T: +44 (0) 1304 807744 E:

About DFDS: DFDS is Northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company, with a network of around 30 routes and 50 freight and passenger ships.

DFDS prides itself on offering world-class facilities and services and the widest choice of ferry routes into northern Europe.

In the UK, the company operates passenger ferry services on routes from Dover to Calais, Dover to Dunkirk, Newcastle to Amsterdam and Newhaven to Dieppe.

DFDS has been named ‘Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator’ for eight years running (2012-2019), as well as the ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ for the last nine years (2011-19).

DFDS currently operates up to 54 sailings a day between Dover and France on its Dover-Dunkirk and Dover-Calais routes. DFDS also offers two daily sailings between Newcastle and Amsterdam. In addition, the DFDS network includes a passenger and freight service between Newhaven to Dieppe, which has four daily sailings and is operated by Transmanche Ferries.

For further information about DFDS, or to find out about the latest sailing times, fares and offers across all routes from the UK, visit


DFDS named as Europe's Leading Ferry Operator 2023!

We are honoured to announce that DFDS has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Europe's Leading Ferry Operator 2023’ in the World Travel Awards – our 12th consecutive win! This is a testament to the exceptional service provided by the dedicated team behind every journey.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who voted and supported us.