Client close up: showcasing success stories from businesses we advise
The first in an occasional series in which we reflect the achievements of our clients.
And what a tale Sunseeker International tells. We found it fascinating that a concern founded in 1969 to be the first significant UK leisure and sports boat builder not only hand-crafts each of its models to the exact specification of each customer – no two are the same - but sells 98 per cent of them outside the UK.
Such is the worldwide desire for the famous brand featured in no less than four Bond movies, that Sunseeker has taken the helm to found an academy in partnership with Bournemouth and Poole College to find, train and deploy new recruits to its manufacturing centre in Poole, Dorset, to meet this growing demand.
The aim is to prepare and inspire a new layer of semi-skilled trades to support the shipwrights, electricians, engineers and other traditional, fully-skilled trades still responsible for fashioning Sunseekers in the 21st century.
As a result, the business is aiming to take on 100 trainees over 2023. A three-month college course will transition into a year-long training programme, which teaches skills across their core trades, carpentry, plumbing, composite bonding, engineering and electrical installing.
Not only will candidates learn in a workshop class room environment, but also on the job and they will do so alongside a fully skilled tradesperson acting as their mentor. (Incidentally, Sunseeker has been training traditional trade apprentices since 1979 and will have 200 in place by the end of this year).
When you consider the scale and complexity of the endeavour to create a statement like a Sunseeker yacht, this initiative to attract, recruit and retain the latest skills required is testament to the company’s practical, forward thinking approach which has seen it continue to thrive and evolve.
The first cohort of new trainee boat builders complete their three-month college course this summer, in what promises to be a continuation of the fresh approach which inspired Sunseeker to take to the seas for the first time more than half a century ago.