Covid has presented many challenges for us, as with every other business globally. Cadet travel to and from sea phase deployments has been difficult and periods of college times and attendance have been affected dramatically. It has also tested how we have been able to work in the office supporting cadets on a day-to-day basis. One key area of opportunity was to look at our processes and procedures internally that allow us to best support the new generation of Officers.
The first of many changes for Chiltern Maritime came just before the Global Pandemic last year, when we moved office location to Lakeside, Portsmouth.
The decision to share a space with MSA Portsmouth (also part of the Viking Maritime Group) has had such a positive impact on not only the staff, but also the Cadets that visit the office. It’s exciting for them to experience the incredible simulator training for Bridge, Engine Room and High Voltage that is available at MSA Portsmouth. Having access to these facilities as well as being able to speak with Officers from many different shipping companies, gives our Cadets a great insight into life onboard with real hands-on experience, which is so important as part of their journey into a career at sea.
There have also been some positive enhancements with the Chiltern Maritime staffing Team alongside the current members, Margo Kulas and Lorena Oestreich.
Lucy Masters has relocated from the Viking Crew office in Dover, with Rebecca Lewer, Kaitlyn Ford, Sarah Duffin, Mary Garner and Vanessa Mole also recently joining the Chiltern team. It is fantastic to see the team growing from strength to strength and the passion they all will give to our Cadets, Sponsors and Clients providing better guidance, support, and communication.
In June, Kevin Spencer re-joined the Viking Group as Operations Director for Chiltern Maritime. Kevin’s dynamic experience & knowledge has been key in implementing changes to help lead the team forward into a new exciting era.
We are currently in the process of designing the Chiltern Maritime interactive newsletter, a tool that has already proved popular for both Viking Crew & the Maritime Skills Academy.
The newsletter will go out to all managed Cadets offering valuable information, advice and updates, recognition to outstanding cadets and the sharing of industry news and blogs.
We are confident that this will be a great way to share and communicate information, along with our newly launched Facebook Group “Cadet Life”.
Cadet Life is a place for all Cadets to share experiences and advice and we hope to create a community feel within the Group where Cadets can build relationships with each other and be able to ask questions, share concerns and generally be there for one another. This is also another useful platform for us as a company to be able to share relevant information and important updates.
In the pipeline we have plans for a dedicated Cadet App. This will be an exciting addition to the services we already have available, providing access to college and sea phase schedules, the ability to upload expense claims, view bursaries and add certificates directly to the portal. The software will also function as a back-office HR tool for Chiltern staff to keep all the necessary personal profiles and certificates and creates the scheduling and planning. When this launches it will be a great technological step forward for the company.
Chiltern Maritime continues to improve the outstanding services it offers with the recruitment, training, and support of the next generation of officers.