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Oyster Yachts launches new apprenticeship academy
To coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, Oyster Yachts has formally launched its Oyster Apprenticeship Academy, building on the company’s existing long-established apprenticeship scheme.
The luxury boat builder has partnered with Southampton City College and Norwich City College – the two colleges closest to its main manufacturing sites in Southampton and Wroxham, Norfolk.
The Apprenticeship Academy will initially provide support for up to 18 apprentices annually, with 10 being located at Oyster Yachts in Wroxham and the remaining at its Southampton facility.
The Oyster Academy currently offers two marine apprenticeships – boat building and engineering. The boat building apprenticeship covers all internal and external aspects of boat building, with four days onsite learning with Oyster and one day a week at college. Traditional craftsmanship modules include joinery, laminating and polishing.
The engineering apprenticeship also includes four days onsite with one day a week in college. This apprenticeship gives hands-on experience in all aspects of engineering from basic understanding of engineering drawings to the installation of complete fuel systems and the final commissioning process.
At the end of each apprenticeship, the Academy offers a pragmatic plan, where the team at Oyster Yachts will continue to support and work alongside newly qualified apprentices during their first year of employment.
Richard Hadida, chief executive and owner, Oyster Yachts, said: “Our objective with the Oyster Apprenticeship Academy is simple – as a company we are committed to ensuring that we develop and grow the skills that are inherent in British boatbuilding.
“I’m passionate about the time-honoured boatbuilding crafts and recognise Oyster’s reliance on them, so sustaining these artisan skills is a priority. Through the Academy, we can encourage young talent into the business and help shape their skills so that sailors will always be able to experience the world’s finest bluewater sailing yachts.”
Matt Cook, assistant joinery manager at Wroxham, added: “Oyster is great place for an apprentice. You get the opportunity to work with craftspeople that are life-long boatbuilders, who are really passionate and proud to build Oysters. The old traditional trades and experience are passed down through generations, from one master to the next apprentice – as well as expertise, sometimes even their tools get passed down too.
“Oyster Yachts are built to last a lifetime, and some yachts are even passed on through the generations. We are embracing new ways of working, using machines and techniques to improve quality of the build and give the craftspeople more time to perfect those finishes only human hands can create. The whole experience and process is a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to join the industry.”
Bazil Figura, training & development officer, who is leading the Oyster Apprenticeship Academy, concluded: “We have a team of mentors that work with apprentices on their professional development, so that they are able to learn from the time-honoured craftspeople that work at Oyster. The training at our Oyster facilities will complement and enhance classroom learning and ensure that skills and knowledge are transferred from classroom theory to manufacturing knowledge. The Academy will also provide support in personal development with additional training to develop core skills.”
Candidates interested in apprenticeship opportunities should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.