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Young people seeking a future career in marine ecology are being offered an exciting role in the North West.

Following the success of last year’s part-time, 12-week pilot programme funded by The Crown Estate, a new six-month internship focused on the marine environment has been announced for the North West

Only one place is available for a lucky applicant to develop practical skills and experience working alongside four leading organisations in the marine sector

The Marine Futures internship programme offers a unique opportunity for recent graduates interested in a career in the marine environment to gain skills, knowledge and experience across a variety of organisations – from those focussing on marine conservation to government advisors and offshore windfarms developers. The ultimate aim of the programme is to help to inform and shape the future career opportunities of recent graduates, broadening their views of potential jobs in the marine sector.

The internship was launched in the summer of 2019, based in Cumbria and project managed by the North West Wildlife Trusts, across Lancashire, Manchester, Merseyside, Cumbria and Cheshire. Over three months the first intern, Lydia Tabrizi from Wigan, spent time with each of the partners, made up of North West Wildlife Trusts, The Crown Estate, Natural England and Ørsted, carrying out a variety of tasks and learning new skills.

Following very positive feedback from all partners, and from Lydia herself, The Crown Estate has just announced that it will now fund an expanded programme; a six month, full-time internship for this summer.

Dr Emily Baxter, Senior Marine Conservation Officer for the North West Wildlife Trusts said: “We’re delighted that, following the wonderful response from all partners involved in last year’s highly successful internship with Lydia, The Crown Estate has decided not only to repeat this great opportunity, but to increase it to six months and full-time. It will give a recent graduate a great insight into a career in the marine sector, the chance to carry out their own research project and to experience working in range of organisations focussed on the marine environment, from charities, to a green energy company and a government-advisory body.”

Following her internship last year, Lydia has gone on to secure a role as Marine Lead Advisor with Natural England. Lydia said: “The internship last year was really varied and gave me great insight into working in the marine sector. I helped with mud dipping and beach school events; carried out seal, seagrass and wading bird surveys. I also learnt about how offshore windfarms are developed, constructed and operated on a day-to-day basis.”

“The most important part of my internship was doing a research project to look at the possibility of the co-existence between fisheries, Marine Conservation Zones and offshore windfarms. This novel study looked at opportunities for fishermen to diversify to more sustainable fishing methods (using creel pots instead of trawling), which would limit the impact of fishing on fragile marine life and allow fishing to co-exist with developments at sea. The competition for space in the sea is ever-increasing so projects like this, which can benefit conservation, local communities and sustainable development, are really important.”

The Marine Futures Internship is funded by The Crown Estate which manages the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as around half of the foreshore. The Internship aims to nurture a diverse and skilled workforce that the marine industry needs for a sustainable future.

Following on from the success of the Coast Explorer Internship programme, which has been delivered in Kent and London over the past three years, the Marine Futures Internship was developed to bring a similar opportunity to benefit communities in the North West.

For more information on the internships offered by The Crown Estate, visit: https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/en-gb/what-we-do/on-the-seabed/marine-internship-programmes/

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