WCS Lectures at Southampton University 15 October 2014 – Post Lecture Press Release

Over 200 marine apprentices inspired by the 2014 Shipwrights Lectures

Dr Gerrard Hughes presenting at the Shipwrights’ Annual Apprentice Lectures – image by Matthew Thowney

Over 200 apprentices, shipwrights and students, together with their employers, lecturers and guests attended the 4th Annual Shipwrights Lectures held in Southampton on Wednesday 15th October 2014. It was one of the most thought-provoking events to date, with an array of hugely inspirational speakers from within the marine sector presenting to the eager young audience. The apprentices were kept engaged throughout the afternoon by the informative, amusing and absorbing presentations which concluded with a lively exchange of insightful questions from audience.

Once again the Turner Sims theatre at the University of Southampton was host to the large gathering of apprentices some of whom had travelled from as far away as Falmouth, Plymouth and Poole as well as Solent based marine companies and local Universities and colleges.

The year’s lectures were opened by Professor Ajit R Shenoi, FRINA, FIMechEG, Director of the newly opened Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute who welcomed the apprentices, gave a brief background to the forming of the new relationship with Lloyd’s Register on the University campus and its benefit to the area together with the aims of the lectures and the work of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights. This was followed by an expert panel session chaired by Matt Sheahan, the well-known yachting journalist and broadcaster and Technical Editor of Yachting World. The highly informative session, punctuated with some excellent film footage and illustrative photos, discussed past, present and future electronics, as well as taking a look at electronics for racing yachts, superyachts, mass production boats and single handed sailing yachts. The panel consisted of Dr Alex Reid from Cosworth, Dr William Collier from G L Watson, Rachel Oliver from Osprey Technical Consulting and Nigel Craine from Garmin.

Joiner and former apprentice Alice Le Good, gave a lively and passionate presentation on her apprenticeship and career path at Oyster Yachts. This was followed by Richard Acland, CEO of Green Marine who gave a very thought provoking presentation detailing his personal observations on his own career in the marine industry, key elements he had learned and his predictions on the future of the sector. To finish off this year’s Annual Shipwrights Lectures the audience were treated to a highly inspirational and amusing presentation from Dr Gerrard Hughes, Solo Circumnavigator, who is the first and only profoundly deaf yachtsman to solo circumnavigate the world via the Five Great Capes.

Commenting on the lectures, Corey Nesbitt, a 2nd year carpentry apprentice from Princess Yachts in Plymouth noted, “It was really useful to hear about other aspects of the boatbuilding sector that I don’t normally get involved with such as electronics, and to hear another apprentice speak about her experience and subsequent career path. Although it’s an eight hour round trip for us to attend we all learnt much more than we anticipated from the lectures and we are now much more aware of the important part we play in the overall industry.”

Mike Carr, Joint Managing Director of Pendennis Shipyard commented, “These Annual Shipwrights Lectures are a hugely inspirational opportunity for our young apprentices to take time out of their work to hear about other aspects of the industry and to meet and see other young apprentices. The organisers should be congratulated on the excellent choice of speakers at this year’s event and the welcoming and informal atmosphere with which the lectures are run. Our apprentices really look forward to this event each year and treat it as an inspirational and informative part of their learning process.”

The inaugural Shipwrights’ Lectures were first held in 2011 and attracted apprentices from highly successful companies in the marine industry located from Falmouth to Chichester. The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights’ Annual Lectures are free for apprentices, shipwrights and graduates and each receives a certificate of attendance. For more information please visit https://www.shipwrights.co.uk/education/shipwrights-lectures


Notes to editors
October 2014

The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights was formed in 1387 as a Trade Guild to safeguard the quality of shipbuilding in London. Many of its current members work and employ young people in the marine leisure sector today. 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.

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