We are delighted to announce five new employers sponsored by us for academic year 2020-21. We welcome to our stable the newly recruited apprentices at Rob Perry Marine in Axminster, Blackwater Marina in Essex, TLC Refit and Repair in Kent, Island RIBs on the Isle of Wight, and Spencer Rigging also hailing from the Isle of Wight. See their websites here:

See our Twitter feed for smiley photos of all the happy apprentices! Watch this space for new announcements coming very soon on our next tranche of sponsored employers for 2020-21…

Bournemouth and Poole College have confirmed they will start delivery of the level 3 Boatbuilder apprenticeship in January 2021. This is great news for our sector and we very much welcome a new learning provider to the marine industry.

Rob Perry Marine of Axminster, one of the Shipwrights Company new sponsored employers for 2020-21, were recently featured in a local magazine. The article focused on the new apprentice and the financial sponsorship they secured from the Shipwrights Company to support their apprentice. This particular apprentice, Will Tewson, is sponsored by us via a generous grant from the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation: https://stelios.org/. Read all about it on page 77 here.


The Maritime Skills Alliance (MSA) recently launched an industry-wide apprenticeship pledge campaign. Covid-19 has inevitably affected opportunities for young people. The MSA’s campaign asked maritime employers to show their commitment to young people by publicly signing the Apprenticeship Pledge.

There are two pledge statements:

The Shipwrights Company supports the initiative and many of our currently sponsored employers have demonstrated their commitment by signing. For the full list of employers that support the Apprenticeship Pledge see here: https://www.maritimeskills.org/Apprenticeships

Twenty years ago today the Shipwrights Company awarded a Billmeir grant for tools to a young Boatbuilder in the making. He now runs his own successful business and is in the process of recruiting an apprentice of his own. A perfect circle!

The Shipwrights Apprenticeship Scheme was featured in a recent edition of the prestigious trade magazine Classic Boat. Read all about it on page 16 here: https://issuu.com/chelseamagazines/docs/cssbm20

AHOY  is a Thames-based water sports charity operating within one of London’s most deprived communities whose primary objective is to provide opportunities for disadvantaged and at-risk youths based around waterborne activities.  In June 2020 the Education and Charity Committee awarded £2,000 to AHOY and we have received the following update on their progress.

As you know too well, 2020 has been a challenging time for all and it seems set to continue for the remainder of the year.  We’d like to firstly thank you for your support, guidance and flexibility, without which we would not have been able to be as innovative in the support we have been offering to our community.

A lot of positive outcomes have been achieved since our return to face-to-face activities and the gradual re-introduction of our programmes and below are just some highlights during the period of July 1st to October 31st

Whilst we are extremely pleased that participants felt safe and comfortable to re-engage with their programmes, as we find ourselves navigating through a second national lockdown we wanted to reassure you that our commitment to delivering your project and related activities to our beneficiaries and the wider community during this time continues.

With the safety and wellbeing of all staff and beneficiaries in mind, whilst taking into consideration best practice and government guidance, we have developed a calendar of activities which allow many of our service users to continue to attend AHOY – albeit with some adaptions, including reduced numbers, to align with the current restrictions.

Many of our beneficiaries we welcome to AHOY are disadvantaged, at risk children, young people and adults, who are likely to experience an increase of vulnerability during these times, making our programmes an essential service within the community. We will continue to explore providing additional support where we can to them and their families through mentoring and access to third party resources, such as Local Authority Corona Virus Support Hubs.

We have re-introduced our AHOY online learning hub where those who cannot attend onsite will still have the opportunity to participate once more with a series of engaging, fun and educational activities held virtually and we will continue to closely monitor the situation and will reinstate any activities that are delivered via the online learning hub back to a face-to-face capacity at the first opportunity to do so safely.

We’d like to thank you once more for your support, and as we continue to work through these somewhat odd times, should you wish to talk to a listening ear please do get in touch.

The Tall Ships Youth Trust has sent the following news update and video links: “Last month we updated you on everything we had been doing behind the scenes to prepare to start sailing again. We were delighted to run several covid-safe day sails, within existing Government guidelines, with youth groups and individuals, starting with ex-pupils from St Michael’s School who explored the South Coast learning to sail and building life skills.  You can read all about their voyage here.
The young crew had fun on board helping us celebrate the Challenger yachts’ 20th birthday by recreating the famous heavy weather footage from the original BT Global Challenge – watch the exclusive Tall Ships version by clicking the video link here!

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I just wanted to give you an update that following the second national lockdown and subsequent guidance from British Rowing, we have again had to suspend activity from the club for the next four weeks.  In the midst of this though, I am extremely pleased to report that far from being a pause on our delivery, our team have managed to move quickly and are now delivering online training sessions to over 200 adults and juniors each week.

As restrictions began to ease before this current situation, we had managed to safely grow our activity to each week deliver:

The first lockdown showed us all the importance of physical activity and underlined how this is linked to mental well-being, especially for young people.  We are working away to ensure that the FRBC community remain connected and active over the next four weeks and we’re already looking forward to being back out on the water in December.

Thank you once again to all of you for your continued support of FRBC and the kind messages we’ve received in the last few weeks.  As ever, if you have any questions at all or would simply like to catch up please do drop me a line.

Many thanks,

Steven O’Connor


New Shipwrights Apprenticeship Scheme sponsored employers for 2020-21

We are delighted to announce five new employers sponsored by us for academic year 2020-21. We welcome to our stable the newly recruited apprentices at Rob Perry Marine in Axminster, Blackwater Marina in Essex, TLC Refit and Repair in Kent, Island RIBs on the Isle of Wight, and Spencer Rigging also hailing from the Isle […]