In support of National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), from the 3rd – 7th February, apprentices from Pendennis Shipyard once again volunteered their time and skills in the local community. Pendennis has been running the ‘community week’ initiative to support NAW since 2015, and each year a variety of local schools, charities and projects benefit from the apprentices’ skilled labour and the chance to tackle projects they might otherwise struggle to complete.
This year the apprentices carried out general maintenance and painting for Mylor Scouts, Camborne Guides and Mylor Sailability, assisted with groundworks, gardening and general maintenance for Boot Up Outdoor Learning and Cornwall Hospice Care, repainted a gig for Truro Rowing Club, plus they provided their skills and services at three local primary schools. In addition, they provided advice and guidance at Camborne Science and International Academy’s careers event and led discussions at Truro High School for Girls Women in STEM event.
Jane Atkinson, Operations Manager at Boot Up, commented on the assistance provided by the apprentices; “It was lovely to see how professional and efficient they were and how they were obviously enjoying themselves with us. All credit is due to them. I cannot tell you how much this kind of intervention does to help us and how it goes way beyond the man-power level. They also act as role models and aspirational personalities to our youngsters which is an unquantifiable but worthwhile thing.”
In total, 70 apprentices were involved in the initiative – across all four years of the apprenticeship programme – plus their Training Manager and supervisory staff who co-ordinated the event and performed daily support visits to each project. A key feature for this year was the appointment of some of the more experienced apprentices to be team leaders, managing the group and ensuring site safety.
Zinnia Swanzy from Mawnan School said; “We enjoyed having them on site enormously – they were exceptionally well mannered, always in a good mood, and obliging with any of the hard labour thrown at them! We were so impressed with them all, in particular the three ‘site leaders’ appointed each day. They took their work seriously and were really effective at organising the work force.”
During the week a team of four Pendennis apprentices were victorious at the annual Cornwall College Apprenticeship Games, another NAW associated event where teams from the South West’s leading apprenticeship employers compete in a series of exciting and interactive challenges to be crowned ‘Apprentice Team of the Year’.
Ryan, one of the winning team members, said of the experience; “Cornwall College did a great job of organising the event, it was a well-structured day with a clear plan. The teamwork aspect was enjoyable and the four of us really wanted to be the winning team in all our tasks. James was our team leader although he did delegate where necessary. His leadership skills were excellent and I think that it was a really good experience for him. It was such a thrill to win at the end of the day and see that our teamwork and determination had paid off!”