Apprentice Josh Redford must have one of the best commutes in Britain – by kayak from his home in Flushing, Cornwall, to his work at Swanpool Beach, near Falmouth.
Josh, 18, is in the middle of an apprenticeship with watersports specialist ElementalUK, which aims to enable people to gain experience and confidence by getting closer to the elements. The apprenticeship is delivered via Cornwall Marine Network and is mainstream Skills Funding Agency – part of the suite of UK investment used to match the ESF Convergence programme.
Josh said, “Before I took this apprenticeship I had only been to Cornwall once on holiday. This changed everything, it has been great. When I started I couldn’t afford the ferry every day from Flushing so I borrowed a kayak and I paddle to Prince of Wales Pier, or Greenbank if it’s rough, then put it on a trolley and walk it to Swanpool Beach. It takes me about 15 minutes to cross then about half an hour walking. On the way home I stop at Tesco in Falmouth and take my dinner back on the kayak too.
Dany Duncan, ElementalUK founder, said, “Josh is our star apprentice. From an employer’s point of view his commute is such a fantastic commitment to the job.”
The apprenticeship involves gaining nationally accredited qualifications in areas including paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, power boating, VHF and first aid. This is ElementalUK’s second year of apprenticeships with 13 completing the first year and six, including Josh, in the second tranche.
Dany explained, “By running these apprenticeships we get people trained exactly how we want them to be trained. If you don’t invest in the staff you have got nothing for the future.”
Josh’s apprenticeship is due to finish in October and he is now fresh back from a transatlantic voyage, helping to sail a luxury yacht from Antigua to Falmouth.
“I think it’s brilliant that he is doing that,” said Dany. “What an experience – he has added a Transatlantic crossing to his training, yet another string to his bow.”
Mark Yeoman, Head of ESF Convergence Communication, said, “Josh is an inspiration to us all. His determination and commitment to his apprenticeship and to the development of his skills are remarkable. Good luck Josh I am sure that with such an outlook you will go far in your chosen career.”