Norman Finlay Memorial Development Scheme launched to discover new talent in the small commercial vessel sector

Norman Finlay MBE receiving his award from Her Majesty The Queen in 2018
Norman Finlay MBE receiving his award from Her Majesty The Queen in 2018

A new scheme has been established that aims to support the development of talent ashore within the small commercial vessel sector. The Norman Finlay Memorial Development Scheme is designed to increase the amount of small commercial vessel seafarers and those with a passion for these types of craft moving onto advanced careers ashore within the sector.

This includes vessel owner/operator organisations as well as within the supply chain such as manufacturers, regulators, surveyors, inspectors, charterers and professional services. The stakeholders will work together to provide a variety of resources towards the development of small commercial sector seafarers.

The stakeholders of the  Norman Finlay Memorial Development Scheme include the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS), Marine Society, MECAL, Mercator Media, the Society of Consulting Marine Engineers and Ship Surveyors Benevolent Fund (SCMS) and The Workboat Association.

Speaking about this initiative, IIMS Chief Executive Officer, Mike Schwarz, said, “I had the pleasure of sitting with Norman Finlay in the quarterly meeting of the Small Craft Forum for several years. Norman’s knowledge of and passion for this sector was plain to witness and I am delighted that IIMS is able to join with the other organisations mentioned to support this worthwhile scheme.”

The stakeholders have committed to supporting the Marine Society’s ‘Coming Ashore Project’ to help seafarers get the support and skills they need to transition to a shoreside career in the maritime sector, tailored to the requirements of the small commercial vessel industry.

Norman Finlay MBE was known to many as the ‘Grandfather’ of the workboat industry. He was a key stakeholder in the development of The Workboat Association in 1994, of which he took the role as secretary until 2011, then life President. He is pictured in 2018 receiving his MBE from Her Majesty The Queen for ‘Services to UK Shipping’. This award is further recognition of the dedication and commitment he has shown throughout a long and illustrious career in the maritime and workboat industries.

Following his passing in August 2020, the industry has now come together to collectively find a way to honour his memory.

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