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Large ship in a dock at night in Falmouth.

Pendennis Shipyard

Pendennis is an award-winning custom build and refit Superyacht yard in Falmouth, specialising in luxury sail and motor yachts.
Founded in 1988, the company’s facilities and expertise have gone from strength to strength and it has established itself as a key player in the global superyacht industry.

Building a highly skilled workforce has been key to Pendennis’ success. Investing in the development of a company apprentice scheme in 1998 allowed it to develop a workforce with the skills, knowledge and expertise required to deliver world class super yachts.

“It was crucial that the scheme also taught our apprentices to appreciate the value of each other’s work and just as crucially, the value of being able to work together”

Mike Carr, Joint Managing Director

Working in collaboration with Cornwall College, Pendennis developed their own four year scheme to ensure apprentices received a level of training that would result in craftspeople equipped with the skills to deliver to the company’s industry leading standards. “Our selection procedure is stringent; we are looking for individuals with the talent, passion and drive to allow us to continue doing what we do.”

The scheme has now been running for over twenty years and receives an influx of local and national candidates. “We’ve had someone fly in from, the Isles of Scilly, Scotland, even the Canaries – we’ve had one two families relocate from within the UK so they could join, but in general we attract local talent to the scheme. We want applicants to get the full picture so when we visit local schools and careers events our current apprentices will be on hand to share their experiences.” After completing the scheme, over 90% of apprentices choose to remain at Pendennis and the company boasts an impressive level of staff retention. Its success demonstrates not only the enthusiasm and ambition of Cornwall’s school leavers, but equally, it’s a shining example of the collaboration that can happen between private business and the region’s educational institutes.

Investment in employee development at Pendennis is not limited to its apprentice scheme; the company has a breadth of initiatives to maintain a healthy, happy and sociable workforce. The team is represented by a young demographic with the average age of workers of 38. A flexible working scheme allows working hours to be scheduled around the busier winter period when many Owners choose to have their vessels serviced. This way of working allows Pendennis to keep pace with the increased demand, it ensures that Owners receive their yachts ready for summer cruising and allows employees to take advantage of an extended summer break.

In 2017 Pendennis held its first ‘Pendennis Health and Education Week’, offering courses and classes on everything from yoga and diet to stress management. The programme was so popular that management chose to roll it out full time, refurbishing the on-site gym and contracting a health and fitness professional to support employees. “We believe that investing in our workforce in this way provides huge benefits to the company. You get the feeling of involvement; people like to be part of something socially with their work mates, and then there’s the productivity side of things, if our employees are fitter they’re much less likely to suffer injury at work for example. Ultimately we are a team so the better that team can work together the better result for our outgoings.”

Pendennis operates in an industry that serves a highly astute and discerning clientele. The ability to consistently deliver excellence is paramount and cannot be achieved without a stellar workforce. By taking a modern approach to all aspects of the employee engagement, from training to personal wellbeing, the company has succeeded in securing one of its most valuable assets.

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