Berthon Boat Company has scooped the ‘Best Apprenticeship and Training Scheme Award’ at the 2016 Boat Builder Awards held on Thursday 17th November as part of the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam.
The awards are truly international with those shortlisted and winning awards from the UK, USA, Finland, Poland, Italy, France and Holland. Sunseeker and Pendennis, both received honourable mentions in the Best Apprenticeship and Training Scheme Award category with other industry giants such as Azimut/Benetti, Lewmar, Beneteau, Sea Ray, Rolls Royce, and Volvo Penta, amongst others, headlining other categories.
Berthon Owner and MD Brian May was singled out by the judges for his ‘commitment and passion’ in driving the Berthon apprentice scheme as well as his overall contribution to the promotion of the UK’s boatbuilding industry, alluding to £1.5m of funding raised to encourage marine SMEs to commence training; since 2009, over 100 apprentice first year wages have been paid in 50 companies with over half of those SMEs choosing to employ a further apprentice within 2-3 years. The scheme is now run by the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and is open to applications. Both the Apprenticeship and Training Scheme Award and the Environmental Initiative Award were new award categories introduced in 2016. More than 280 delegates attended the gala ceremony at The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam. The awards recognise industry excellence in boatbuilding, design and marketing, with 8 different categories overall. Irene Dros, METSTRADE maritime manager, said of the awards that “It feels only fitting that as the industry emerges from some tough years that we can celebrate those individuals and companies positively transforming the way the marine business operates. We look forward to honouring their best practices, innovations and can-do spirit.”
Brian May, MD of Berthon Boat Company commented “Berthon has won a few local and national awards in the last 7 years, but this international award, given by marine industry peers, was a truly humbling experience.”
Keith Longman, Yard Manager at Berthon, added “Next year sees newly established syllabuses (Trailblazers) bringing apprenticeship training into the 21st Century and as a result a vocational apprenticeship provides a viable and equal opportunity to complete Further Education, whilst earning wages, learning a skill and offering promotional prospects.”
From January, Berthon will be recruiting for new apprentices to start in September 2017. Those interested in a career within the marine industry can apply via the careers page of the Berthon website.