The British Boatbuilders Survey aims to find out who is working in the leisure boatbuilding sector in the UK

Those working hands-on at boatyards around the UK are being urged to take part in the British Boatbuilders Survey.

The short, anonymous survey is aimed at everyone who is working hands-on in UK boatyards, whether they’re building GRP or wooden boats, or are involved in related trades, such as rigging, marine engineering and electronics.

It has been organised by Women in Boatbuilding (WIBB) – a community interest company that raises awareness of the gender diversity debate in the industry, and offers mentoring to women and boat builders in the industry.

The survey can be found here.

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The founder of Women in Boatbuilding, Belinda Joslin said the data will be used to ascertain a clear picture about the workforce in UK yards.

“Who is working hands-on in the leisure boatbuilding sector in the UK? It’s a question that we’ve been trying to get answered since the inception of WIBB earlier this year, and we’ve struggled to find anyone who has this data. Not only that, but the UK Shipbuilding Skills taskforce also failed to get data from our industry to base their recently released report on, and cite it in the report as an issue,” she explained.

A woman looking at an engine

The survey is open to all boatbuilders as well as those who work in related trades. Credit: Women in Boatbuilding

“The larger yards obviously know their own workforces, but boatbuilding is made up of so many dispersed smaller yards that are not even members of British Marine, and haven’t heard of the National Shipbuilding Office – they’re just getting on with the job and often struggling to recruit.

“So many decisions and discussions are based around data, and we want to have diversity data to back up our anecdotal knowledge about all boatbuilders in the UK. The recent WBTA and Heritage Crafts Traditional Boatbuilding survey showed that less than 10% of traditional boatbuilders are women, and it’s a worryingly ageing workforce,” added Joslin.

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