Two trainee forecasters have successfully completed their Meteorological Observing Certificates issued by the UK Met Office, the first trainees in the department for 11 years.
Aimee Reading and Agatha Plunkett gained their trainee places with the department following a highly contested recruitment process undertaken in Jersey and both are now qualified as Meteorological Observers, the first step on their trainee progression.
Principal Meteorological Officer Tony Pallot said that the vacancies became available as a result of retirement and provided an opportunity for the department to take on new locally qualified trainees with a scientific background.
“We are fortunate to have a stable workforce and this is the first time that we have recruited new staff for many years. It will be exciting to watch and help our new colleagues as they develop their skills in meteorology.
“The competition for the trainee posts was extremely fierce with a number of very good and highly qualified candidates to choose from. Aimee and Agatha did well to be successful and work their way through to securing their Met Observing Certificates” said Mr Pallot.
Aimee, who has a background in Environmental Science said: “I am very grateful to have the opportunity to work within my field of study without having to leave the island. Thanks to the support of the whole team I have now taken a significant step forward in my profession”.
Agatha, who previously worked in the finance industry, said: ”This is a great opportunity to put my science degree to good use in Jersey. The training process has been fascinating and challenging and I look forward to working further to pursue my career with the Met Office.”
Environment Minister Deputy Robert Duhamel said: “One of the stated priorities of the Council of Ministers is to find sustainable employment for Islanders. Trainee posts like these give us the chance to offer skilled roles to locally qualified people, allowing them to train and attain professional qualifications while also developing within the workplace. I wish them both every success in their new roles.”
Aimee and Agatha followed an intensive training period, learning the skills of meteorological observing from colleagues within the department. They will now both attend an 18 week Initial Forecasting Course with the UK Met Office College in Exeter later this year. The course will give them the in-depth knowledge of the theory behind the behaviour of weather systems. As their careers progress they will receive further training locally and with the UK Met Office.