For the next two years, Ilmatar is collaborating with the Sail Training Association Finland (STAF) as a primary sponsor of their work on board the schooner Helena. STAF focuses on supporting marginalised young people while increasing interest in shipping as a future profession.
“Young people can get a sense of belonging and support and at the same time become increasingly interested in shipping. We see this as very important,” says Anna Häger, Regional Manager of Ilmatar Offshore.
For 50 years, STAF has organised sailing trips and maritime activities to support young people at risk of marginalisation. Based on the Foundation’s ships Helena and Vahine, the activities range from short junior sailing trips to week-long youth sailing trips around the Baltic Sea, or for older or mixed groups, adventure sailing further afield to the Canary Islands and across the Atlantic. The Foundation also welcomes older young people to join races such as the Tall Ships Race or the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers.
The concept of youth sailing has proven effective in preventing social exclusion and marginalisation among young people.
” During our sailing trips, they learn independence, team spirit and gain an understanding and respect for the sea. They need to help each other, follow rules and keep to a timetable,” explains Timo Tammiala, long-time captain of the schooner Helena.
”At the same time, many people who may not have had such good prospects, are discovering a possible career in shipping. Several times in different harbours, I have come across people who sailed with me long ago and now work on board various ships.”
STAF’s CEO Emma Laitinen is pleased about the new cooperation: “It’s nice to collaborate with a company which is also working with the same nature forces: wind and sea. Our foundation is very thankful for the support, and we’ll continue our mission to train curious young people about the sea’s possibilities and the responsibilities associated with working at sea.”
Half wind power, half shipping
Ilmatar Offshore’s regional manager Anna Häger also looks forward to the cooperation and plans to meet as many young sailors as possible on board the schooner Helena to answer their questions about offshore wind power:
”Offshore wind power is half wind power and half shipping. The fact that young people can get a sense of belonging, support and at the same time become interested in shipping is something we see as very important. And we know that many young people today are curious about our industry. Our future labour force in offshore wind power must find its way to shipping and be trained today. Therefore, we are very proud to be able to support STAF.”
Sail Training Association Finland
Sail Training Association Finland was established in 1973 to support young people at risk of marginalisation by organising youth sailing events. The Foundation is responsible for training the volunteer corps for the tasks on our ships. The Foundation organises maritime activities in support of its operations and maintains contact with similar domestic and international organisations. The Foundation also organises sailing events for adults with the motivation to support youth activities.
Regional Manager, Ilmatar Offshore AB
+358 40 14 67 221
Communications & Citizen Engagement, Ilmatar Offshore
+358 40 12 39 784
CEO, Sail Training Association Finland, STAF
+358 40 758 8316