Government sponsors boat-building apprenticeships

The government’s Trialblazer apprentice scheme has announced a new boatbuilding apprenticeship will be developed by employers working together to design standards in their occupations and sectors.

Co-ordinated by the British Marine Federation, the scheme will be led by Berthon Boat Company and includes Sunseeker International, Princess Yachts, Pioneer Sailing Trust, Pendennis Shipyard, Fairline Boats, Broom Boats, Green Marine, English Harbour Yachts, Windboats and Cockwells.

Keith Longman, yard manager at Berthon, the lead employer for the marine Trailblazer phase, said; “Our group are excited at the opportunity to influence the training delivery of our apprentices. The government’s strategy that apprenticeship training should be employer-led is welcomed by us, and we will embrace the challenge to build a standard that will deliver the competence and behaviours.

The marine industry is one of 37 sectors chosen as a Phase 3 Trailblazer, alongside others such as maritime defence, emergency services and port operations & supply chain.

Sarah Dhanda, senior federation director at the British Marine Federation said: “Our apprenticeship scheme is already a recognised success with some 80 young people completing their boatbuilding training each year.”

“By developing marine apprenticeships further we are ensuring the continued quality of the industry’s training programme. We will be preserving much needed skills and ensuring the sector is well placed for the future, whilst crucially maintaining a strong profile both in government and within young people.”

The changes will build on strengths of the current scheme, but the reformed apprenticeships will meet the needs of the future economy in years to come, ensure apprenticeships are more rigorous and responsive to the needs of employers and ensure they are viewed with the same esteem as University.

Skills minister Nick Boles enthused “I congratulate the marine industry for the key role they are playing in developing new top-quality apprenticeships. Through the trailblazers initiative boatbuilding companies will collaborate with their industry partners, giving people the skills they need to thrive and providing what our businesses need to compete.”

Phase 1 and Phase 2 Trailblazers reached over 400 employers who worked together to design the first employer-led Apprenticeship standards.

Launched in October 2013, the Apprenticeship Trailblazer scheme is to enable businesses to produce employer-led standards for key apprenticeship roles in their industry.

It has already been launched in energy & utilities, digital industries, financial services, life sciences and industrial sciences. The new Apprenticeship standards focus on achieving competence in an occupation.

The criteria for the apprentices are to ensure the skills it provides must be numerous, challenging, valuable and transferable. Once an apprentice has completed their training, they must be able to perform the same role in any firm regardless of its size or sector. Occupations should be of a sufficiently high level to ensure this.