The opening of the South’s first dedicated Marine Technology Centre in Poole has moved a step closer with the appointment of a team of experts to teach the next generation the secrets of luxury boat building.
Building work on the structure of the new centre at the North Road campus of Bournemouth & Poole College is almost complete. The centre will take its first batch of around 140 students including 80 apprentices in the next few weeks. Once established it will have a total capacity of about 250 students.
More than £250,000 has been spent creating the new facility which is closely supported by Poole-based Sunseeker International, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of luxury motor boats.
The four recruits have between them more than a century of experience in the boat construction and marine engineering world. Their ability to teach all aspects of boatbuilding, from engineering to craftsmanship and from electricals to design work, is key for delivering excellence to the marine sector.
The new team is Bob Jennings, Richard Broden-Cowell, David Woodhams and Nick Farwell. They will be teaching alongside college engineering and construction specialists, headed by Richard Warburton and Mark Loose.
Engineering expert Nick Farwell, from Sopley, said he is relishing the new challenge and is excited by the support from Sunseeker and other companies which have helped supply the new centre with vital new equipment.
Said Nick: “We know all too well the challenges young people face when starting out in the marine manufacturing industry because we have all been through it ourselves.
“It is a wonderful career and we aim to make their passage to fully trained skilled boat builders a rewarding experience.”
David Woodhams from Dibden Purlieu in the New Forest has more than twenty years experience in the Army as a marine engineer. He was deployed on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico and his experience will bring five star teaching to the College.
Bob Jennings began his career in the chemicals industry but soon discovered his hobby of boatbuilding was a labour of love. He retrained as a teacher to pass on his skills and has been working at the Lyme Regis Boatbuilding Academy prior to his new appointment.
Richard Broden-Cowell, of Wimborne, has a lifetime in the industry, much of it with Hamble Yacht Services. He has many years experience teaching the skills of boat electricals.
Said Richard: “The new Marine Centre is a fantastic idea and a credit to both Sunseeker and The College. We can see the need for this sort of dedicated centre by the way it has been greeted by so many companies expressing their support. I can hardly wait to get started.”
Alex Bowman, Sunseeker’s training manager told the Echo: “Our link with Bournemouth & Poole College through the Marine Technology Centre is a great move, as it helps to ensure we continue to grow and develop the expertise and training our apprentices receive both at a craftsmanship level and the higher technical level.”