Shipwrights Lecture Inspires the Next Generation
Published on 25/10/2012
Around 250 apprentices, shipwrights and students together with their managers, lecturers and guests attended the Annual Shipwrights Lecture in Southampton on Wednesday 17th October to hear speakers from diverse disciplines highlight the breadth and opportunities of the British leisure marine industry. The speakers, many of whom were former apprentices themselves, engaged the audience with highly informative and amusing presentations which inspired a lively exchange of thought provoking questions from the young attendees.
The Turner Sims theatre at the University of Southampton welcomed apprentices from both the large marine employers including BMF members Sunseeker, Princess, Pendennis, the RNLI, Berthon and Discovery Yachts and also SYS, as well as specialist marine supply companies such as Trimline and Halyard and graduates from all the main local Universities and colleges.
The event was concluded with a fascinating and highly relevant talk from Robert Braithwaite CBE, President of Sunseeker International who shared his unique passion for the industry as well as his meteoric career progression, spanning nearly 50 years, from engine mechanic to head of one of the world’s most exciting global luxury brands. Robert encouraged the current generation of apprentices and students to always be good team players, to learn lessons from their mistakes, to be passionate about their industry and to create their own opportunities as he has done throughout his life. Robert closed by stressing the importance of today’s apprentices who will be the managers of tomorrow and the strength and success of the British marine industry in the future.
Josh Dean, 17, Marine Electrician apprentice from Sunseeker, commented on the event, “I think it was brilliant because I got to meet and listen to people that were apprentices, but who are now senior people in their company. It wasn’t all about motor yachts and included sail as well, so I got a good look at the industry and my career options.”
Brian May, Managing Director of Berthon International noted, “After many years of effort we now have schools, colleges and the Government supporting the apprenticeship programme; whilst a good number of marine boatbuilders are now taking on increasing numbers of apprentices we need more of the wider marine supply chain companies to commit to the apprenticeship programme. The advantages and importance of training the next generation cannot be underestimated and I’m delighted that all our speakers at the Shipwrights Lecture were so positive about the need for apprentices.”