Steve Richards

News: Twelve apprentices start the four year Pendennis Award Winnin Course

September 3, 2010 by Steve Richards
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Since 1998 Pendennis Shipyard has welcomed over 140 local young people, aged 16-19, to enroll on their general apprenticeship scheme. This provides an excellent opportunity to learn a trade and work towards official qualifications, whilst providing Pendennis with a rich pool of skilled and qualified labour. In 2008 Pendennis was awarded LSC Large Employer of the Year Award in national recognition of the success of the scheme, and in 2009 Pendennis was awarded ‘Winner of the Year’ in the National Training Awards.

During the four year course, apprentices undertake an initial year partially based at Cornwall College alongside work experience at Pendennis, obtaining a thorough understanding of all aspects of yacht manufacture and maintenance. The apprentices then spend the next three years at the yard in their chosen trade gaining qualifications and experience through on-the-job training, shadowing key department senior personnel, and learning the skills necessary to become highly trained in deliverying high-quality and unique superyacht projects.
Also key to the scheme is the opportunity to attain qualifications and experience in other related areas – the apprentices pursue their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, train towards RYA sailing certifications as well as completing local community and charity work. In December 2009 two of Pendennis’ recently qualified apprentices returned from a 3-month yard exchange with a superyacht builder in New Zealand.

This is the eighth group starting the course, which has produced some very skilled and dedicated members of the Pendennis team over the years. Apprentices now make up one fifth of Pendennis’ current workforce, including Tim Tregear who is now a Refit Manager and completed his course in 2006. Tim, who was Bronze medal winner in the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights Queens Silver Medal Award, says “The training and opportunities that Pendennis has provided me with over the past 9 years have proven to be invaluable in my growth and development both within and outside the company. Not only have I been provided with exceptional trade specific training but I have also completed numerous other courses and qualifications. Since qualifying I have been assigned to several overseas posts in locations such as Barcelona and Palma. These have provided me with a fantastic insight into the industry in which I work. The Pendennis apprenticeship scheme has provided me with all the tools and skills I could possibly need to go on and further my career within the superyacht industry.”

This national award winning scheme has gained such a good reputation that this year almost 150 young people applied for the 12 available positions. Lewis Doubleday, one of the new apprentices, was initially given information about the scheme by his school in Helston, and then attended a Pendennis open evening which included a tour given by the current 2nd year apprentices. Fascinated by the broad range of opportunities and impressed by the facilities at Pendennis he successfully applied to the course: “I am only a couple of weeks into the course and I’m really enjoying it. I have already learnt new skills, and made a lot of new friends. I have always been interested in engineering and other aspects of the apprenticeship and in the future I know the scheme will provide me with a trade or even a management role within the industry.”

The current year 4 apprentices will graduate in September this year and the next General Apprenticeship will begin in August 2012. Alongside this Pendennis also runs a Yacht Surface Finishing scheme, which is the first of its kind in the UK. The objective of this scheme is to train and sustain a world class in-house paint team. The Pendennis Surface Finishing Scheme will be advertised in the local press, Connexions offices and schools in October 2010. The next Surface Finishing Apprenticeship will begin in January 2011

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