PRESS RELEASE – Shipwrights’ Lectures 2015


Speakers announced for Shipwrights’ Lectures 2015

Wednesday 28 October 14:30 Turner Sims, University of Southampton

The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights has released this year’s programme of prestigious speakers. With current entries exceeding those of this time last year, we would encourage registration sooner rather than later. 

Registration should be made online at:

Now in its fifth year, the annual lectures invite industry leaders from the marine sector to inform and inspire young apprentices, shipwrights and graduates about the breadth, opportunities and career paths available in the UK’s unique and dynamic marine industry.

Commencing proceedings will be Berthon Boat Company’s second year Engineer Apprentice Nathan Smith and fourth year Shipwright Apprentice Jack Gunstone-Smith. They will share their experiences as apprentices within the industry, including their participation in the voyage from New Zealand to Lymington on Grey Wolf, an FPB64 designed by Steve Dashew.

Grey Wolf on delivery from New Zealand to Lymington.

Shipwright Lectures 2Sail-World Image

Matt Sheahan, Technical Editor at Yachting World magazine, will chair a group of six leading specialists on the topic: “Marine Propulsion – Past, Present and Future.” A fast-paced discussion will outline the development of power and propulsion systems, giving apprentices an insight into the industry, with the opportunity for questions.

This year we are very lucky to have Henk Weikens, joint founder and shareholder at Pendennis Shipyard as one of our guest speakers.  Pendennis’ award winning apprenticeship scheme has trained over 160 men and women in key industry trades over the past 17 years. Just under one third of the company’s current workforce have been trained by the apprenticeship programme, including many who have progressed to senior positions such as Project Engineers, Department and Project Managers.

This year’s closing words will be given by Charles Hunter-Pease, Chairman of the RNLI. Charles was appointed Chairman in 2013 after combining his experience as a successful businessman, RNLI trustee and long-serving volunteer.

Training colleges, universities, industry bodies including British Marine and classification societies will again be supporting this year’s lectures. The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights would like to thank BMT and its MD, Peter French, as the company has generously extended its sponsorship of the Shipwrights’ Lectures to 2017.  A Reception for all past and present speakers, together with invited guests will be held after the Lectures.

The Shipwrights’ Lectures were first held in 2011 and today attract apprentices from highly successful companies in the marine industry located from Falmouth to the Mersey. The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights’ Annual Lectures are free for apprentices, young shipwrights, students and graduates. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance.

Registration should be made online at:


Notes to editors:

For further press information, please contact Amy Hutson or Beki Knowles at ADPR: / or 01460 241641. 

About the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights:

The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights was formed as a Trade Guild to safeguard the quality of shipbuilding in London, with the first known written reference to Company being in 1387, but it is widely acknowledged to have existed prior to 1199.

Many of its current members work and employ young people in the marine leisure sector today. The Shipwrights have partnered with British Marine in promoting the Shipwrights’ Apprenticeship Scheme. The scheme, with funding from the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, is helping small to medium enterprises establish marine engineering and boatbuilding apprenticeship training programmes with advice, guidance and wage funding.

The Shipwrights have a long standing commitment to support education and charity in the maritime sector, with initiatives such as their annual Queen’s Silver Medal Award for marine apprentices. This closely 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.

The Shipwrights have, since inception, supported the shipwright’s craft by way of education and charitable works, latterly assisting smaller companies with first year apprentice costs. Recently, Lloyd’s Register Foundation – which helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research – has generously provided extra funds so that this support can be extended to more companies.

(PR02) July 2015