May 30, 2013
Jack Gunstone-Smith is serving a four year advanced apprenticeship at Berthon in the Shipwright department. He says ‘I applied for my apprenticeship online, was invited for interview, and was lucky enough to be chosen for an apprenticeship, which was great news as it was something I really wanted to do. I would recommend an apprenticeship to anyone as a fantastic way to start your career.’
Jack who hails from Pembrokeshire in West Wales moved himself to Lymington to enable him to take on his new role at Berthon and he is really enjoying the challenge. He is studying an extended diploma as a Shipwright at a local college coupled with an NVQ Level 3 alongside his work based training.
On starting at Berthon in September 2011 Jack was set to work on many projects for the MOD where he stayed for the first 14 months of his apprenticeship, learning techniques such as GRP repairs, Gelcoat repairs, GRP mould making and laminating. Work varied from RIBs and FMLs to Yachts during this time.
Jack is currently working on the restoration of the West Solent One Design W8 ‘Ripple’ which is having a complete rebuild at Berthon after originally being built here in the 1920s. Jack is passionate about working with wood and is thriving in his challenging role to bring ‘Ripple’ back to her former glory.
‘I find timber work really enjoyable and I am getting the chance to learn the skills to replace all the main structural components including the Keel and frames. I am really lucky that my apprenticeship is teaching me all these traditional skills of a Shipwright as well as all the modern techniques and processes surrounding composites.’
Jack and other apprentices are producing blogs for the company website as the re-build takes shape and these form an interesting read. The apprentices are really enjoying this project which is reflected in their respective blog posts; most recently The Beautiful Part Picture is the frame