Image: British Marine

60 apprentices celebrated in style as British Marine, the trade association for the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry, honoured them at its annual Apprenticeship Graduation at Southampton International Boat Show, powered by Borrow A Boat.

The apprentices, who graduated in a range of different specialisms, including carpentry, engineering, computer aided design and welding, completed their apprenticeships with six different British Marine members – Princess Yachts, Pendennis Shipyard, Berthon Boat Company, Richardson’s Leisure, Sunseeker International and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

This year, the awards were presented by Chris Gates, a former apprentice who rose through the ranks to become Managing Director at Princess Yachts – a position he has held until June this year – testament to the progression apprenticeships within the marine sector can offer. In total, the marine industry now has over 400 apprentices across the sector and many of today’s graduates have already secured full time employment in the sector.

British Marine is focused on People & Skills as part of its National Agenda. This includes helping members develop apprenticeship programmes, as well as facilitating a number of training courses throughout the year.

Additionally, British Marine has been working with Maritime UK, Department for Transport (DfT) and Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) on a new project called ‘People Like Me’ for women in the marine and maritime industry. The initiative aims to address the perception that the industry is just for men and demonstrate how it can effectively showcase its value to a more diverse group.

Blue Davies, Head of Training at British Marine, said:We are delighted to honour all 60 apprentices at our Apprenticeship Graduation and celebrate their career development. One of our key focuses this year for our new National Agenda is People & Skills, and our apprenticeship programme is a key component of this. Although there is still work to do across the industry in supporting women in particular into marine jobs, we’re working with the Department for Transport, Maritime UK and the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers on a new ‘People Like Me’ project for the marine industry to showcase women in the sector and breakdown stereotypes in the industry. There is further to go, but we are making progress.”

Southampton International Boat Show, powered by Borrow A Boat, runs until 22 September. Tickets are available online.  For the first time ever, this year, visitors can experience the Discovery Deck which features a dedicated careers zone promoting skills and careers in the marine industry.

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