Falmouth Harbour Marine Services are a family run marine engineering business covering much of the South West of Cornwall. It was a logical choice for the company to train and employ son, Cove, into the business. Initially, however, they did not realise the potential of achieving this through an apprenticeship and Cove was studying full time at college. With support from Falmouth Marine School and the Shipwrights Cove transferred onto an apprenticeship and commenced gaining valuable training and experience at work to complement his studies at college. In addition to the support offered in this transition the Shipwrights’ Apprenticeship Scheme has also been able to support the company with Cove’s first year’s wages. During this time Cove has completed a two week Erasmus exchange programme with a marine engineering company in France, here, in his own words, is how he got on.
“My work placement was at a company called Meca Diesel Plaisance in France from 19 June to 30 June 2017. Meca Diesel Plaisance is a marine engineering company covering all aspects of leisure marine engineering ie small craft such as yachts, motor cruisers and ribs etc… The work I carried out at Meca Diesel involved the removal of heat exchangers, removal of water pumps, removing exhaust elbows and the servicing of outboard engines I also had the opportunity to go afloat for sea trials on a motor cruiser.
The guys that I was working with at Meca Diesel made me feel very welcome, I only spoke a little French and was worried that I wouldn’t know enough to get by but with the use of the booklet given to me at the beginning of the placement the engineers could show me the tools and engine parts that I needed to work with.
In the first week I was accompanied by a Kieran, a Meca Diesel empoyee, but in the second week I was trusted enough to ‘go it alone’ and service outboards, re-install a water pump, clean a prop until it shone and I could see my face in it! And service a Yanmar 1GM 10hp inboard diesel engine.
They used different tools to the ones FHMS have and I enjoyed learning how to use them they also showed me how to use air tools. I especially liked the remote controlled hiab and crane that they used in the Marina that I visited when we installed a marinised Ford engine in a Grand Banks motor cruiser.
I was especially pleased to be told that my placement was extremely pleased with me and that I knew more than some of their own engineers and that I could return anytime!
Cove John Eddy”
Aurelie Nollet, Senior Project Executive at Cornwall Marine Network Ltd says “As organisers of this Erasmus project, we were delighted to read Cove’s feedback which demonstrates the value of such experience for skills and personal development. Following the end of the project in July, we have developed a brochure providing a summary of the outcomes for the 12 students who completed their work placement in France.” The brochure is available here.