In 1998 Pendennis Shipyard, Falmouth, was struggling to recruit qualified trades people to enable it to meet the demands for the company’s services from its international client base.
Jill, the Pendennis Apprenticeship Scheme Co-ordinator, championed Apprenticeships as the way for the business to attract and develop local young people to acquire the vital skills and talents the business needed. Jill’s unwavering confidence in developing young people through the Scheme over the last 15 years has had a profound impact on the company, individuals and the community.
The Shipyard has grown from120 to 300 employees with the Scheme being integral to Pendennis’ ability to strengthen its international super yacht refit and custom build niche. The Sunday Times in 2012 recognised Pendennis’ rapid growth and potential.
The Head of UK Trade and Investment says “Pendennis has an Award winning internationally recognised Apprenticeship scheme that is a beacon to UK Marine businesses”.
Jill’s resolve to widen the contribution apprentices make to the business saw her work on the development and introduction of a sector leading Surface Finishing Apprenticeship in 2005.
Over 30% of Pendennis’ current staff are a product of the Apprenticeship scheme. Jill has directly and personally inspired the continued development of skills and careers through her post-Apprenticeship programme. Tom Clegg enthuses “Jill goes the extra mile for all the apprentices. Her encouragement throughout my Apprenticeship enabled me to compete for, and win, the coveted Queens Silver Award, Shipwright Apprentice of the Year 2010. Jill’s continued selfless backing of my development has culminated in me securing the prized Engineer position on the yacht Lionheart this summer. She makes it fun”.
120 local young people have launched their careers through the Scheme over the last 4 years and account for 7% of the 16-24 Apprenticeship starts in Cornwall’s growing Apprenticeship programme since 2010. It has been an effective counter to the area’s relative deprivation in workforce qualifications and income.
A signal feature of the Scheme has been Jill’s resolve for it to encompass the whole person. Apprentices undertake the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award. Jill has freely devoted substantial time to instigate local business and community initiatives and involving the apprentices. The new entrance gates to the Falmouth Cricket Club and the restoration of fire damaged furniture of a local resident are recent examples.
Jill is a proactive and unstinting Ambassador of Apprenticeships locally and nationally. She freely gives her and her apprentices’ time to enthusiastically promote Apprenticeships to employers, individuals and those who influence young people in their career choices.
Jill has been instrumental in producing capable well rounded and hugely employable individuals. She has raised the awareness and participation in Apprenticeships.