MCA Trainee of year award 2018 announced
A deck officer from Plymouth has been chosen as the Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s Officer Trainee of the Year Award.
Matthew Gigg, 27, from Plymouth trained at the Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering in Hampshire and now works for V Ships Limited.
He received his award from Vice Admiral Tony Radakin CB, Second Sea Lord and Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff as part of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets Annual Court (MSSC).
Representatives from his college, sponsors and current employers were present at the event along with his family.
The award aims to encourage and recognise quality within the maritime industry. Nominations are made by nautical colleges alongside the trainee’s sponsoring company. The winner is decided by a panel of judges, including representatives from the MCA and other industry figures.
Matthew’s training was not without its challenges. He was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness in 2017 when he still had more than a year to go in his cadetship.
He said: ‘This was my challenge, not my holdback. My training experience was very different in comparison to other people’s, but I didn’t let that stop me from achieving my goals. Many folks would probably have given up or taken a year out. However, all I cared about was to graduate and attend the passing out ceremony with my cohort, which, to my delight, I achieved.
‘I truly feel I started the cadetship as a 24-year-old boy and graduated as a 27-year-old man.’
Director of the UK Ship Register, Doug Barrow who attended the ceremony said: ‘Matthew is just starting out in his career. He has reached high, been proud of what he’s done and – most importantly – not been afraid to keep going when others might have given up.’
Vice Admiral Sir Alan Massey, CEO of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: ‘Every time I hear the story of one of our Trainee of the Year award winners, I marvel at their tenacity and talent. Matthew’s story is inspirational and a reminder of what can be achieved through perseverance and courage.
‘I wish Matthew every success for his future career. I am sure with his positive attitude and strength of character he will achieve even greater things.’