Marine skills

Plymouth Marine Skills Centre has launched a 35 tonne steel ship section to provide innovative and realistic training for marine engineers. The 11m long structure replicates a vessel’s hull and is located at Piquet Barracks in Devonport. It has been purpose built to scale, is fully painted and is fitted out for its training role.

The South West of England Regional Development Agency has already invested £172,000 into the £1.4m centre, which is part run by Marine South West. The centre’s main role is to support Plymouth’s marine industry by helping workers develop their skills in areas such as boat building and refitting.

Marine South West executive director Adam Corney said: ‘The ship section allows trainees to apply engineering skills learned in the workshops on board a ship, in confined spaces, and this is the final element in completing the facilities at the centre, which has already trained 2,500 people in its first eighteen months of operation.’

The section, built over three months, is based on the designs for the frigate HMS Scylla and was donated to the centre by Devonport Dockyard operators Babcock Marine. The installation of the unit was also supported by grant of £25,000 from the Devonport Regeneration Company. The aim of that partnership is to allow the centre to work more closely with the local community and increase their access to the marine labour market.