New all-weather lifeboat centre in Poole will take on 6 apprentices a year

The RNLI has announced a new engineering apprenticeship programme that will help to build its next-generation lifeboats.

 The scheme, announced for National Apprenticeship Week (3-7 March 2014) will offer six new places each year, leading to a 24-strong apprenticeship programme annually by 2018.

The sought after apprenticeship roles will help to provide the specialist skills the charity needs as it brings all-weather lifeboat production and maintenance in-house for the first time at the charity’s new All-weather Lifeboat Centre (ALC) in Poole, Dorset.
The ALC will be the first facility of its kind in the UK, aiming to be a world-class centre of engineering excellence. It is currently being built and is due to open at the end of this year. Once appointed, the six new recruits will start in September on the four year programme. They will be playing a part in lifeboat manufacturing and maintenance, providing the best possible lifeboats to help protect the charity’s volunteer crew when they risk their lives to save others at sea. The move is timely for several reasons:
 Dorset-based Courtney Mitchell, aged 20, RNLI Apprentice Marine Engineer and in his second year of the charity’s current programme said: ‘I’ve learnt a lot so far on the programme, everything from stripping down engines to boat hull fit outs. It’s been really worthwhile. After I finish the apprenticeship, I would like to go on to become a fully qualified lifeboat maintenance technician with the RNLI, and work my way up from there. It’s great to see the RNLI’s All-weather Lifeboat Centre developing; it’s going to be an amazing facility and I definitely plan to apply for a job there.
The RNLI has been running an apprenticeship programme for 15 years and is already experienced in training young people in marine electronics and marine mechanical engineering. Future skills will include mechanical, electronic and electrical engineering and composite laminating. Expanding the apprenticeship programme for the new All-weather Lifeboat Centre is the first step in establishing a wider apprenticeship, traineeship and work experience programme for the whole charity.
To find out more about RNLI apprenticeships, visit