Shipwrights' Apprenticeship Scheme

The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights' Apprenticeship Scheme encourages small businesses in the marine sector to train apprentices and harks back to the founding principles of the company. To date, with the support of our generous corporate benefactors and individual donors, we have funded 95 marine SMEs enabling them to employ 113 apprentices.

  • Are you a modern, progressive SME marine business?
  • Do you want your company to flourish and prosper?
  • Is your ambition to build a business that is sustainable and ‘future proofed’?
  • Yes? Then marine apprenticeships are ideal for you!

An apprentice can bring new ideas, new ways of working, and with their enthusiasm and spirit can energise and reinvigorate an organisation from top to bottom…

What marine apprenticeships are available?

New apprenticeship standards have been developed in Marine Engineering, Boatbuilder and Marina and Boatyard Operative. Fresh standards in Marine Electrician are also under development. These new standards are all set at level 3 which is equivalent to two ‘A’ levels. This means a marine apprenticeship programme is now more challenging than ever before, attracting talented young people who are ready to meet the demands of a modern marine business like yours. Standards are also reviewed regularly to ensure they are still relevant to the fast-changing needs of the sector. In academic year 2019-20, we also funded for the first time our first Workboat Crewmember Apprentices at level 3, working for a commerical marine organisation.  In 2020-21 we will also begin funding the new Boatmaster apprenticeship standard for commercial operators on the Thames and elsewhere. A very exciting development!

What are apprenticeship standards?

Standards are designed and written by a group of representative employers and not solely by academics. They outline the knowledge, skills and behaviours that a role requires. Because they are designed by employers from the sector, they are relevant, contemporary, and designed to be ‘fit for purpose’ for your business. Under these new standards, the apprentice is now independently assessed at the end of their training. Therefore, their final grade is awarded in an impartial and objective way – just as with all other qualifications. Standards are also reviewed regularly to ensure they are still relevant to the fast changing needs of the sector.

The Shipwrights Company bursaries and how they can help…

Established in 2014, and supported by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, the Baltic Exchange Charitable Foundation and other donors,  the Shipwrights company has been offering grants to approximately 20 employers a year to financially support an apprentice in their first year. The initial year is often the most financially difficult for an employer when recruiting a new apprentice - and at the Shipwrights we understand the pressures on an SME business. The bursary is only open to SMEs businesses who do not pay into, or benefit from, the apprenticeship levy.

What other help is available?

Your dedicated scheme manager will:

  • Help you with the ‘end to end’ application process
  • Refer you to a training provider that can meet your needs
  • Advise on managing an apprenticeship programme from recruitment to graduation
  • Provide information, advice and guidance on apprenticeship standards
  • Signpost you to further training opportunities through our partners at British Marine….and so much more!
  • Interested in applying or just finding our more....
  • Then contact our dedicated bursary scheme manager at:

Follow the SA Scheme and the Shipwrights on Twitter for news and information on apprentices, the scheme and other related items:

Lloyd's Register Foundation

The Lloyd's Register Foundation's strategy for 2014-2020 focuses funding on four strategic themes: promoting safety and public understanding of risk; advancing skills and education; supporting excellent scientific research; and accelerating the application of research. The Shipwright's Apprenticeship Scheme satisfies the second of these strategic themes; advancing skills and education. For more information on the LR Foundation and the projects they fund visit their website

Find news and updates on the scheme below:


Luke Symonds – Oarsome Chance – case study

In 2018-19, we sponsored a young man called Luke Symonds at Oarsome Chance, (based in Gosport, Hants) on a level ...

Apprentice Toby Poultney continues to impress at Marcus Lewis Wooden Boatbuilder

Apprentice Toby Poultney has made great strides since recently joining Marcus Lewis Wooden Boatbuilder in Fowey, Cornwall. Toby transferred from ...

Shipwrights Company supporting the new apprenticeship in Scotland

Eyemouth Marine in Scotland have posted a news piece on Facebook thanking the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights for our apprenticeship grant. ...

A big ‘thank you’ from one of our apprentices!

Today we received a lovely note of thanks from one of our sponsored apprentices – Toby Poultney who is now ...

All Shipwrights Apprenticeship Scheme grants allocated for 2020-21

We are delighted to announce that all our Shipwrights Apprenticeship Scheme grants have now been awarded for academic year 2020-21. ...

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 ...

Tweets from @ShipApprentices

Oustanding apprentice Edel McCarthy has just completed the first year of her Boatbuilding apprenticeship @Scotmaritime. She has impressed everyone with her dedication, enthusiasm and superb technical ability. The industry needs more young females like Edel!


In 2018-19, we sponsored a young man called Luke Symonds at @OarsomeChance, on a level 3 apprenticeship in Boatbuilding. Established in 2015, Oarsome Chance was conceived as a way to help disadvantaged young people. Read all about Luke's journey here:

Apprentice Toby Poultney has made great strides since recently joining Marcus Lewis Wooden Boatbuilder in Fowey, Cornwall. Toby transferred from Charlestown Harbour to @boatbuilder9 in order to continue his level 3 apprenticeship in Boatbuilding:

We are delighted to award a grant to @aquamare_marine
in Plymouth to support apprentices Matt Jones Hughes, Jay Walsh and Shay George for academic year 2020-21. We sponsor marine apprentices, helping to develop vital shipwright skills - both traditional and modern.

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