The British Marine Federation (BMF) is teaming up with The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, in order to encourage apprenticeships within the marine industry. The Shipwrights’ Apprentice Scheme (SAS) offers advice, guidance, as well as funding of up to £8.5k to SMEs taking on marine apprentices.
The scheme is currently funded by Lloyds Register Foundation (LRF) and the Shipwrights’ Ark Appeal. A maximum grant of £8.5k is potentially available to marine SMEs to finance the first year of a three or four year apprenticeship.
Paul Harris has been recruited by the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights as the Scheme Administrator. He is based at the BMF office in Egham to enable him to engage with BMF members, as well as educational establishments/training providers. The main objectives of his role will be to talk with marine SMEs to make them aware of the benefits of taking on an apprentice, let them know about the funding available, assist with recruiting apprentices and offer ongoing support such as contractual and mentoring advice.
Paul comes from a marine training background, making him the perfect candidate to assist employers when trying to recruit the right apprentice. Paul said: “It can often seem daunting to a marine company looking to take on fresh talent; whilst they want to invest in their company’s skill base and someone’s future they often do not know where to start. That is where the SAS comes in. We will help BMF members find the right candidate for their business by supporting them through the whole process.”
BMF member, Brian May of Berthon Boat Company, has been heavily involved in the setting up of the SAS scheme which was founded by Worshipful Company of Shipwrights Ark Appeal Committee. He added to Paul’s comments: “The recruitment of apprentices can be of enormous benefit to employers, bringing renewed enthusiasm and a growing skilled labour force trained to their specific business needs, reducing reliance upon sub-contractors and delivering higher quality output with less warranty issues. It is recognised, that the first year wages of an apprenticeship are generally cash negative and as such may create a barrier for smaller companies from considering this option. With the SAS funding, taking on an apprentice can become a viable option for marine companies and after the first year they can expect to see a return on their investment.”
Paul Harris will be at the PSP Southampton Boat Show on Apprenticeship Day, Tuesday 16 September. He will be at the Show in the BMF Members Lounge to talk with interested companies, to answer any questions and give further information and advice about the scheme. Alternatively BMF members can contact him to discuss the SAS and the options available to them on 01784 223617 or email email@example.com.