A 21-year-old from Begelly has completed his transformation from a civilian into a Royal Navy sailor and is now one step closer to a career at sea.

Trainee engineering technician Ryan Lewis arrived at HMS Raleigh, the Royal Navy’s training base in Cornwall, last February. During a 10-week course he has been given a thorough induction into the Royal Navy, learning skills that he will rely upon throughout his time in the service. The course culminates with the passing-out-parade attended by families and friends. 

The former pupil of Ysgol Greenhill previously worked as a carpenter. He said: “I joined the Royal Navy because I wanted a better life and to see the world. There’s a chance to gain qualifications and skills in other things and it’s a stable job that provides good pay and a good pension. I thought training was tough, but overall I’ve really enjoyed it. It feels amazing to get this far. My long-term ambition is to serve for 20 years plus and get as high up the ranks as I can.”

With the first phase of his training complete, Ryan will transfer to HMS Collingwood in Hampshire. There he will learn the skills in marine engineering to keep the ship running smoothly, safely and effectively. Once fully qualified, he will work on everything from the ship’s hull and engines to its electrical, fuel, hydraulic and fire-fighting systems.

As the ship will be away from port for weeks at a time, he will also be trained to make spare parts and other vital components in the ship’s workshops.

The training Ryan experienced has recently been the subject of a Channel 4 documentary series. The seven-part series, called Royal Navy School, took a candid look at what it takes to become a 21st century sailor and followed every step of the training, from gruelling fitness sessions, weapon handling and exercises out on the water to the recruits’ free-time in the mess-decks.  

More details are available on the Channel 4 website www.channel4.com/programmes/royal-navy-school

Details of career opportunities within the Royal Navy are available online at www.royalnavy.mod.uk or by calling the Recruitment Line on 03456 00 53 02.