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

All the latest news on the Shipwrights Apprenticeship Scheme below:

Shipwrights perfect circles…

Twenty years ago today the Shipwrights Company awarded a Billmeir grant for tools to a young Boatbuilder in the making. ...

Shipwrights Apprenticeship Scheme featured in Classic Boat Magazine

The Shipwrights Apprenticeship Scheme was featured in a recent edition of the prestigious trade magazine Classic Boat. Read all about ...

Shipwrights apprenticeship bursaries for academic year 2020-21 

All applications from employers for apprenticeship bursaries have been received and we are no longer accepting any further applications for ...

Shipwrights’ Lectures Two Weeks Away

This year featuring several Senior Level Representatives of Major Marine Organisations The 2019 Shipwrights’ Lectures are on Wednesday 16 October ...

News from MSSC

John Morris, Trust Officer, at MSSC has written with a breakdown of how the Sea Cadets allocated the donation received ...

News from Stirling and Son, beneficiaries of a Shipwrights’ Billmeir Award

The following good news story from Stirling and Son in Devonport, Plymouth, a previous beneficiary of a Billmeir Award, has ...

Tweets from @ShipApprentices

For National Apprenticeship Week, Kevin Hunt the Managing Director of Scorpion RIBs in Lymington, has been interviewed by @MaritimeUK. A fascinating watch with some wise advice for all young budding marine apprentices out there:

For National Apprenticeship Week 2021 (8th- 14th February) we have added a selection of case studies from some of our most talented and recently funded (2019-20) apprentices. Read their stories on our Shipwrights Apprenticeship Scheme page on our website -

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:

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