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Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

The 2011 Shipwrights Lectures announced

Published: 28 June 2011Origin: Engineering

A Series of annual lectures for apprentices and young shipwrights presented by invited industry leaders to inspire young people about the UK’s unique international position in yacht design and boat building

The yacht and power boat design, build and electronics sector in the UK is calculated at £3billion per annum of which 70% is export and employs around 35,000 people. This industry represents an exciting career opportunity for apprentices, young shipwrights and boat builders incorporating skills in electronics, engineering and woodwork. The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, in conjunction with the University of Southampton, is hosting a series of annual lectures designed to give attendees an exciting insight into the opportunities, technologies, and future developments in this broad-ranging industry.

The first lecture will take place on October 19th, at the Turner Sims Hall, University of Southampton.  Starting at 1500 the first lecture will be given by Naval Architect Rob Humphries, and his son Tom, who has already established his reputation in designing outstanding sail and power vessels. A short coffee and networking break precedes the second lecture which will be delivered by Ian Benning, Volvo Penta Sales Director, Marine Leisure Engines.   The introduction and welcome will be made by Sir Jock Slater, Deputy Prime Warden of the Shipwrights and the lectures concluded by Sir T John Parker former Chancellor of the University, himself a past shipbuilder.

 The concept of high level lectures for young people under the age of 25 who are either already employed as apprentices in the marine leisure sector, or who are studying in this arena, came from  the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, which was formed in 1387 as a Trade Guild for shipwrights working on the London River . A number of its current members work and employ young people in the marine leisure sector.

The Shipwrights Lectures are  being supported by apprentices from companies as far afield as Pendennis, the Cornwall-based superyacht builder, Discovery Yachts and SYS from Southampton and Berthon Boat Company, in Lymington all of whom have extensive apprenticeship schemes.  Training providers, universities, colleges, and industry bodies such as the British Marine Federation, have all pledged their support for these events.

The theme of the lectures is ‘Past, Present and Future' and it is planned that there will be two dates set per annum, each comprising two presentations covering both sail & power.  The second event will take place in February 2012.  Attendance is free for apprentices nominated by their employers, and young people under the age of 25. Each Apprentice will receive a certificate of attendance for each lecture subject, allowing him or her to build a collection of certificates demonstrating wide knowledge of different marine industry sectors and an appreciation of subjects alongside their particular apprentice training.

Michael Derrick liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights has been instrumental in developing the concept of the Shipwrights Lectures together with fellow liveryman James Grazebrook and Nigel Stuart, Managing Director of Discovery Yachts.  Michael says, "The British marine leisure industry is vibrant and dynamic with an international reputation second to none and via this lecture programme we wish to show young people, trainees and apprentices just how dynamic and wide the horizons are.

By bringing together insightful and thought-provoking leaders from this industry and by giving young people the chance to network, form acquaintances and gather knowledge from their compatriots we aim, together with other industry initiatives, to help encourage and retain people in this sector.

The lecture programme builds on the Shipwrights' long-standing commitment to supporting education and charity in the maritime sector, notably with the annual apprentice award of the Queen's Silver Medal.  This close fought competition takes 20 finalists on a five day outward bound course at Kielder each year, choosing winners from those who have demonstrated excellence in their written submissions, and allows many more to benefit from the charitable work of the Shipwrights."

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