Shipshape training project

Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership

The Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership project involves the creation of ten new training posts, based at five different locations throughout the UK, delivering skills in maintaining, operating and interpreting historic vessels.


The traineeships are being offered by National Historic Ships UK as part of ‘Skills for the Future’, a national programme to create new opportunities in work-based training for the heritage sector funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Five new traineeships will be offered in 2014 and a further five in 2015.


Martyn Heighton, Director of NHS-UK, said: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. The funding will help to arrest the decline in the traditional seamanship skills that are integral to the future of the UK’s operational historic vessels. It will also aid the development of specialist training across five regions via the Shipshape Network. A skills mapping exercise, coupled with the development of an assessment framework in traditional seamanship skills, will ensure a legacy which will endure beyond the length of the 2½ year project”.


What a traineeship involves..
Successful applicants for the trainee posts will be placed with one of the partner organisations based in Anstruther, Brixham, Maldon, Lowestoft and the Hamble for the main summer sailing season and for part of the winter refit programme where the trainees will be able to develop practical skills (including vessel handling using the vessels owned by the partners) by working with experienced crew or museum staff.


The traineeships include two periods of practical study at the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft, Suffolk, and four weeks studying conservation and interpretation principles at the Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther, Fife.  There will also be the opportunity to visit other historic vessels and museums to gain experience of different organisations and types of traditional rig on a rotation basis.


By the end of each year, the trainees will have built up a  record of operational, maintenance, conservation and interpretation skills set out in the form of a training passport of skills which can be shown to prospective employers as well as being a personal record reflecting what each trainee has achieved.


Although the five traineeships all cover the essential skills needed for a career in the historic ships industry, each placement offers a slightly different experience depending on the main purpose of the host organisation and its vessels.


The partnership involves:  National Historic Ships UK (Lead Partner) and five host organisations : – Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther; Excelsior Trust, Lowestoft; Sea-Change Sailing Trust, Maldon; Dauntsey’s School Sailing Club, Solent; and Trinity Sailing Foundation, Brixham.


Shipshape Trainee 2014 – Hugh Langworthy
We were delighted to welcome Hugh to the team and he has been working as Bosun on Provident, under the guidance of skipper Lara Caine.


Hugh has been flat out since joining Trinity but earlier in the year we managed to have a quick catch up with him to talk through how he found out about the trainee opportunity and his experiences so far.


He said: “A friend of mine initially pointed out the project to me. I was looking at getting in to boat building and then I saw the Shipshape training initiative and it sounded ideal.


Most boat building courses were more than I could afford and could not offer the breadth of training on offer through the project. When I saw this opportunity I jumped at the chance.”


It’s been a really good start, joining during the final refit week was intense with loads of final preparations for the season but I managed to put some of my new skills to good use.


I’ve been lucky with the glorious weather so far. I’ve been on two voyages now, the first taking clients for a short holiday along the South Devon coast, which was a great way to find my feet on board Provident.


I have just completed a sail training course with a group of young people with special educational needs so I’ve already had a chance to experience the full spectrum of work that I will be carrying out with Trinity this season”.


Further information
For more information please speak to Toby Russell at Trinity or Jean Ebuzor at National Historic Ships UK on 0208 312 8558 or email


Follow link for: NHS-UK Press Release announcing the project


Follow link for: Trinity Press Release on Hugh Langworthy


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