A boat builder based in Walton-on-the-Naze is hoping to find a new apprentice to take on the trade at next month’s Tendring Jobs and Careers Fair.
Simon Papendick of J Star Marine Services has been in the industry since 1977, having had a life-long love of boats, and has run his own firm for many years.
From his yard in Hall Lane, he repairs small boats of all styles up to 40-feet in length in a range of materials, from wood to fibreglass, and also works on the engines. He even builds some boats from scratch, and this is a side of the business he is keen to expand.
Mr Papendick also travels across Europe in his work, as well as combining his love of history and genealogy to trace the history of the boats he works on.
“It is very complicated building a boat, but very rewarding. No two days are the same,” he said.
Now he is looking to take on a novice as part of a four-year apprenticeship backed by the Institute of Apprenticeships to teach someone new the ropes. The first two years focuses on learning skills, before moving on develop those further and using more initiative.
He has a stand at the Tendring Jobs and Careers Fair where he hopes to find some candidates for the role.
Mr Papendick added: “I have had apprentices in the past, who have now moved on to other things, and I don’t want everyone to feel they have to go to university to succeed.
“There is a great lack of trained boat builders, especially those working in my field with more traditional, smaller boats.
“Four years is a big responsibility for me, and for an apprentice, but these are skills for life.
“My ideal candidate would have a passion for boats, is keen and wants this career, and perhaps someone who has not had a job before and so is a blank canvas.”
The Tendring Jobs and Careers Fair is organised by Tendring District Council (TDC) in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions. It takes place on October 2 between 10am-4pm.
Zoe Fairley, TDC Cabinet Member for Investment and Growth, said it was brilliant that boat building was still taking place in Tendring.
“Our district is intrinsically linked to the sea, so I am delighted that boat building and restoration still takes place here,” she said.
“But for this, or any other industry to survive, it needs new people coming in, learning and developing the skills that have been honed for centuries.
“This is a top example of the sort of life pathway being promoted by the Tendring Jobs and Careers Fair, and I encourage you to come along to the event.”
Businesses without a stand at the fair are invited to advertise, free of charge, any vacancies they have on the event’s Jobs Board. Those wishing to do so need to contact the organisers by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org – a template will then be sent to them which needs to be completed and returned by Friday, September 21,
For more information visit www.tendringdc.gov.uk/jobsfair or find the event Facebook page @tendringjobsandcareersfair – which also details some current vacancies.
A free shuttle bus will run to the event from Harwich, Jaywick Sands and Dovercourt.
The Tendring Jobs and Careers Fair is sponsored by Affinity Water, Electric Center, Galloper Wind Farm, Harwich Haven Authority, Horizon Construction, Hughes Electrical, Surya Foods, Surya Hotels, Red7Marine and Rose Builders.