Young Merseyside maritime ‘Rising Stars’ in the spotlight at annual awards

On Thursday, March 9, companies from across the maritime sector will gather at Liverpool FC’s new main stand for the black tie ceremony of the 2017 Mersey Maritime Industry Awards. Tony McDonough reports.

Lauren Kemp of Beech Group, one of the Rising Stars finalists in the Mersey Maritime Industry Awards

A trio of young workers in Liverpool city region’s maritime sector will see their efforts recognised at the 2017 Mersey Maritime Industry Awards (MMIAs) next week.

On Thursday, March 9, companies from across the sector will gather at Liverpool FC’s new main stand for the black tie ceremony.

Click here to see the full shortlist for the awards

As well as deciding on the winners of the main categories, the judges also have the difficult task of picking a worthy winner for the Rising Star Award.

The category was introduced into the MMIAs after the first couple of years of the awards in response to feedback from employers keen to reward the younger members of their workforces.

This year, the three Rising Star finalists are Matt Costello of James Fisher Marine Services, John-James Gallagher of Royal HaskoningDHV, and Lauren Kemp of Beech Group.

Mersey Martime Rising Stars finalist, John-James Gallagher of Royal HaskoningDHV

Mersey Maritime chief executive, Chris Shirling-Rooke, said: “The Maritime Sector in the North West has seen massive investment in recent years and serves to remind young people how exciting a career in this sector can be.

“That success is visible and was palpable in events towards the end of 2016 such as the opening of Peel’s £400m deep-water container terminal at the Port of Liverpool.

“Entries for Rising Star this year reflect the stellar quality of the younger generation now starting to come through.

“These young people are making an active choice to work in the Maritime Sector; they are taking the industry forward, injecting new ideas and helping bring about change that will help our industry to stay competitive.”

Mersey Maritime Rising Stars finalist, Matt Costello of James Fisher Marine Services

As part of the judging process all candidates attend a personal interview, hosted this year at the Liverpool office of maritime law firm Hill Dickinson.

MMIA judge Gary Hodgson, chief operating officer, Peel Ports Group, said he had been impressed from day one by the candidates he had met.

He explained: “I have been a member of the judging panel for all three years of the MMIAs to date and the Rising Star interviews are without doubt the most rewarding part.

“My role as a judge in this category reflects Peel Ports’ own commitment as an employer to attracting and training young people into rewarding careers in the sector.”

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