Apprentices and Classic Yacht Senora aground and needing a Tow!

Mon, 26 September 2016

The classic Yacht Senora was carried into Sunderland by low loader on 20.8.16 and chocked and propped in Bay 3 of the historic Pallion Shipyards. The plan is that she be restored by the Senora Trust's apprentices, as part of their NVQs in Marine Engineering. Sunderland's heritage of world famous engineering skill will be taught to the apprentices and will be the foundation for their new careers. Senora will be restored to her former glory in time for the Tall Ships festival July 2018. From her berth by Sunderland quayside, she will become 'The Peoples Yacht', providing sail training and day trips for the community into the future.

18 young people aged 16 - 18 began their apprenticeships on 15.8.16. They have been excellent - full attendance, full of energy and interest. It has therefore been a bitter disappointment for all of us when two weeks ago the training company delivering the NVQs admitted to the Trust that they had not received authorisation from the Skills Funding Agency to deliver the training as promised. Without the training, the Trust could not access the funding that had been agreed to pay the apprentices.

We immediately sought another training partner, and within 48 hours South Tyneside College, the regional centre for Marine Engineering training, had agreed to run a 12 month apprenticeship at NVQ level 2. The Trust has one third of the funding for this, but to be absolutely sure that our apprentices are not let down a second time, the Trustees have agreed that we must have secured in advance all the funding required before we recommence the apprentice program.

the Trust is therefore asking for companies in the SSA to support this initiative. We believe it is a worthy of your support for many reasons -

-    an excellent start into the industry for keen young people

-    practical support for a region with a proud history in shipbuilding - ‘a hand up, not a hand out’

-    a cost effective way for engineering companies to recruit, using our program to screen potential new employees for the best and most reliable.

-    a program that addresses the sector’s skills shortage  - for example in welding

-    an innovative way to take advantage of the funding available through the government’s new apprenticeship framework.

-    an excellent PR opportunity to support a charity that will continue to attract good press coverage

Please contact Mr Kim Simpson, chairperson, at to discuss this proposal.   

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