A Golden moment for Dorset Apprentices

James Turner (20) and George Bloomfield (25) from Golden Arrow Marine (Poole Branch) had cause to celebrate at this year's PSP Southampton Boat Show, as they graduated with dozens of youngsters from the British Marine Federation's apprenticeship award scheme on Tuesday 16th September.

Olympic sailing legend Sir Ben Ainslie handed out certificates to the 58 graduates from maritime firms from across the south coast at the show's fourth annual Apprenticeship Awards.

Sir Ben said: "Apprentices are a vital part of the future of the marine industry. In terms of the maritime industry on the south coast, it's important that we keep motivating youngsters and giving them to options to learn a skill. It's quite a diverse industry with lots of skills required and as someone passionately involved in the marine industry it's great to be able to support that."

The British Marine Federation (BMF) has been working with companies to support marine apprentices for a number of years to ensure that the industry, bringing £2.9 billion worth of turnover to the UK economy, continues to thrive. The Apprentice Awards Scheme is now in its fourth year, rewarding apprentices in roles varying from marine engineers' right through to riggers and carpenters; recognising the diversity of accessible skills and careers in the marine industry.

George Bloomfield, moved from Tenerife to Poole in 2010 and James Turner from Christchurch completed their 4 year course and are now both fully qualified Marine Engineers, having achieved an NVQ Level 3 City & Guilds. Martin Bizzell, Engineering Director for Golden Arrow Marine said "This has been tremendous day for our apprentices and it was a huge honour to be congratulated by Sir Ben Ainslie on this important occasion. Golden Arrow Marine has invested in apprentices for over 40 years and this high quality training is vital in maintaining the marine industry standard."

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