Cockwells launches boatbuilder apprenticeship scheme

Boatbuilding Apprentices at Cockwells on a Duchy 21 - Image Credit Cockwells

Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding has partnered with Cornwall Marine Network (CMN) to train the next generation of boatbuilders through a new City & Guilds Level 3 Boatbuilder Apprenticeship scheme.

Cockwells says this apprenticeship is the only one of its kind in the UK, as it is offered in the workplace and tailored to business needs.

Aimed at learners aged 16 and above who would like to gain the practical knowledge and skills required to embark upon a career in boatbuilding, this apprenticeship is said to offer a valuable qualification as well as the opportunity to develop transferable skills that are valued by employers.

“As a City & Guilds accredited delivery partner and assessor for the Level 3 Boatbuilding Apprenticeship qualification, we have worked closely with Cockwells’ managers to curate curriculum content that will enable learners to gain skills across production, manufacturing, service and construction,” explains Cornwall Marine Network’s boatbuilding programme manager, Amy Stringfellow.

“During the first three weeks, the apprentices will undertake joinery exercises, fibreglass wet layup and machinery competency, and learn about boat and engineering technology, product uses and materials, and health and safety, to build confidence and help them hit the ground running when they transfer to the workplace. During our weekly Friday sessions, we will look closely at the marine sector as a whole and understand the theory that underpins it.”

This qualification is designed to introduce apprentices to the full range of career opportunities that are available to them within the wider boatbuilding and marine sector, from project manager, lecturer, assessor and marine/electrical engineer, to naval architect, paint sprayer, laminator, joiner or boatyard operative.

The inaugural cohort will commence training on 20 November 2023. Delivered over 48 months, learning will initially take place at the Cockwells’ satellite facility that is situated on the former Vospers site in Ponsharden.

With a 50/50 split between practice and theory, the first three weeks will comprise intensive ‘practice and play’ to provide a flavour of the range of skills that the apprentices will learn on the workshop floor during their studies. The theoretical aspects of boatbuilding will then be covered in day release sessions every Friday.

“We are proud to be delivering high-quality apprenticeship training in partnership with Cornwall Marine Network and offering fantastic opportunities for enthusiastic individuals to join our highly skilled team of craftsmen and women as apprentice boatbuilders,” says Cockwells’ founder and managing director, Dave Cockwell.

“Through this scheme, apprentices will not only acquire all the practical skills they need to become multi-talented boatbuilders. They will also learn how to transform production plans and concept drawings into reality.

“As Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding continues to expand, the need for highly skilled craftsmen and women increases. This collaboration with Cornwall Marine Network will create a pipeline of talented individuals that we can nurture and employ.”

Cockwell’s has recently found fame with two of its boats starring alongside Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx in a forthcoming Netflix Original entitled Back in Action, due to be released in 2024.

Main image courtesy of Cockwells.

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One response to “Cockwells launches boatbuilder apprenticeship scheme”

  1. Blue Davies says:

    Interested to know how this apprenticeship differs from the IFATE Boatbuilder Standard – https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/boatbuilder-v1-0