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Housing apprentices to sail the Irish Sea in tall ship challenge

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Housing apprentices to sail the Irish Sea in tall ship challenge


Published by KDavison for New Charter Group in Housing and also in Communities, Education

(L-R) Apprentices Robert Petrou, Jason Lawson, John Blair and Claire Schofield (L-R) Apprentices Robert Petrou, Jason Lawson, John Blair and Claire Schofield

A team of apprentices will learn how to man a tall ship as they set sail for a week-long challenge in the Irish Sea as part of the 2014 Apprentice Ship Cup.

The inaugural event will see seven apprentices from across Greater Manchester-based housing companies join a fleet of traditional tall ships as they sail from Oban in Scotland to Liverpool (7 – 14 June).

Before they embark on their journey aboard the Lady Avenel, the apprentices will be trained this weekend by a professional crew who will also join them for the trip.

They will learn how to sail the vessel, follow their route, operate masts and even take part in night watches on the boat.

They will also record video diaries during their trip which will be published after the event.

Apprentices from New Charter Housing Trust Group, City West Housing Trust, Guinness Northern Counties and Northwards are sailing in the cup and will represent a project called Foundations in Housing on their sailing adventure.

Funded through the Government’s Employer Ownership of Skills pilot, Foundations in Housing was set up to create more tailored apprenticeships in housing and so far it has funded 90 apprentices across the sector.

The Apprentice Ship Cup, run by MAST Charity, is part of this year’s International Festival For Business in Liverpool.

When the housing apprentices arrive in Liverpool after their voyage they will join a regatta on Saturday 14 June along the River Mersey to celebrate the international festival.

Claire Schofield (31), an apprentice at New Charter Housing Trust in Tameside is taking part in the challenge. She said: “I’m really excited about the trip, meeting new people and learning how to steer the ship.

“It can be scary taking new opportunities but that’s what being an apprentice is all about and I think you should always give something a go because you might find out you really like it.”

You can watch a video introduction to the 2014 Apprentice Ship Cup challenge at

Chris Amyes, Executive Director of People at New Charter, the lead housing provider for Foundations in Housing said: “This is such an amazing opportunity for all the apprentices and the experience will help to give them skills that they can take with them personally and throughout their careers.

“We wish the Foundations in Housing team the best of luck and we can’t wait to hear all about the challenge through the video diaries and photos.”

Jim Graves, organiser of the Apprentice Ship Cup added: “This is the first time we’ve held this event and it will be a real character building challenge for the young people.

“They’ll be hands on above and below deck and by the end of it they should hopefully have learned a lot about themselves while earning a certificate which says they can sail a tall ship – something that not everyone can say they have!”

The Foundations in Housing apprentices sailing in the Apprentice Ship Cup are:

  • Anthony Glover (28) – New Charter Housing Trust Group
  • Claire Schofield (31) – New Charter Housing Trust Group
  • Robert Petrou (19) – City West Housing Trust
  • Jason Lawson (25) – City West Housing Trust
  • Jamie Daughtrey (23) – City Response, property maintenance for Guinness Northern Counties
  • Daniel Goodman (22) - Guinness Northern Counties
  • John Blair (23) – Northwards Housing

More information on the Apprentice Ship Cup at

The ship

The Lady of Avenel is a 102ft Brigantine square rigger.

She takes 12 people and has a three person crew

The accommodation consists of 4 two berth cabins and a spacious 8 berth bunk room. The ship has 3 toilets and 4 shower rooms.

A large fully equipped galley and a spacious deck saloon provide ample covered space.

She is 22m in length and was built in 1992.

Foundations in Housing

Foundations in Housing is a joint project between Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Registered Providers of Social Housing in Greater Manchester.

It is Government-funded through the Employer Ownership of Skills pilot run by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. More at

Providers who have pledged to the scheme are: New Charter Housing Trust Group, Arcon, Bolton at Home, City West, City South, Contour, First Choice Homes Oldham, Guinness Northern Counties, Northwards, Parkway Green, Regenda, Stockport Homes, Willow Park and Wigan and Leigh

More information at

Follow Foundations in Housing on Twitter @FIH_GM


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