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July 3, 2019 Cockwells launches academy for the boatbuilders of the future

A new boatbuilding academy for 16- to 19-year-olds is being launched this September in a collaboration between Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding and Falmouth Marine School.

The Cockwells Academy is aimed primarily at students who have taken GCSEs this Summer. It involves enrolment on a full-time course at Falmouth Marine School and attending specific work experience days and masterclasses at the company’s Mylor Creek Boatyard for one academic year.


Falmouth Marine School, which is part of The Cornwall College Group, will process applications for The Cockwells Academy. Selected students will participate in an interview with course tutors and company personnel.


“Up to ten applicants will be selected to benefit from real-time work experience as well as access to our highly-skilled craftsmen and elements of the boatbuilding process that it may not be possible for them to encounter during their studies at college,” explains Cockwells’ Training Manager, Jonny Mills. “From vacuum bonding decks and commissioning engines to fitting joinery and levelling a boat, these students will be able to hone the practical skills that are required to lead them to the next level in their journey to become professional boatbuilders, and we look forward to helping them to achieve their full potential.”


“We are very excited about this unique partnership,” comments Head of Falmouth Marine School, Bob Harris. “Work experience is an essential component of all our courses and our students’ practical experience will be further enhanced by this collaboration with a leading marine business.”


Following assessment at the end of the year, a number of students from The Cockwells Academy will be selected to continue their training at the company as paid apprentices for three years, after which, they will be fully-qualified boatbuilders.


The workplace training that is delivered as part of this paid apprenticeship scheme comprises practical application; shadowing and observation; coaching and mentoring; learning support and industry visits.


“As Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding continues to expand, the need for highly-skilled craftsmen increases,” adds Founder & Managing Director, Dave Cockwell. “This collaboration with Falmouth Marine School is a win-win situation. It creates a pipeline of talented individuals who are passionate about the industry, which, in turn, empowers us to offer them career opportunities. By working together, we can ensure that high-calibre boatbuilding in Cornwall retains the top spot on the global map.”


To apply for The Cockwells Academy, please contact Falmouth Marine School on 0330 123 4783 or email

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