Shortlisted for a National Lottery Award, Blyth Tall Ship is supporting young trainees as they get to grips with traditional boatbuilding skills.
With the calm air of quiet concentration, it’s hard to believe that the Blyth Tall Ship course is made up of people who once struggled at school or lost their way into the world of work.
Here, apprentices Joseph and Melissa found a place that nurtured their talents and changed their lives, thanks to a marine engineering scheme made possible by National Lottery players.
Diamonds in the rough
Once a major coal-mining and ship-building port, the town of Blyth has a high level of unemployment and the Blyth Tall Ship project is specifically targeted to those not in employment, education or training – or, as CEO Clive Gray calls them, ‘diamonds in the rough’.
Clive believes his scheme provides young adults with an opportunity to thrive, “They want things to be different, but don’t know where to start. This project presents them with the opportunity to have a hope and take a crack at it.”
Inspiring people, changing lives
Over 240 apprentices that have passed through the doors of the Blyth Tall Ship workshop including Joseph, who was referred to the project by the Job Centre.
Through Blyth Tall Ship, Joseph discovered practical talents that were uncultivated at school and through the scheme gained full-time employment.
“It’s good to see that there are places where people can thrive in different ways.” – Joseph
20-year-old mother Melissa, joined the project following the birth of her daughter and also thrived as a result of the apprenticeship.
During her training, Melissa sailed to Gothenburg as part of the Blyth Tall Ship Regatta and has now succeeded in being one of only two people in the UK to be selected for an apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce and getting closer to her goal of becoming an engineer.
“The project has made me feel more confident and allowed me to learn new things." – Melissa
Melissa recognises the role that our players have in investing in projects like Blyth Tall Ship, “I would thank National Lottery players because this is a great opportunity for anybody of any age or skills.”
Of those who have completed the traineeship, 40% have gone on to take further education courses, and 30% to find work. And none of it would have been possible without National Lottery players.
5th July 2018