max temp: 12°C

min temp: 6°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Lowestoft; Boatbuilder set to take on 10 apprentices in autumn

11:00 01 August 2014

Tony Holman, who is taking on apprentices.

Tony Holman, who is taking on apprentices.

Archant © 2012

A Lowestoft boatbuilding and repairs firm is set to fuel its rapid expansion when it takes on 10 new apprentices in September.


Tony Holman, inset, 24, who launched Holman Marine Solutions out of a barn five years ago, issued an urgent plea for new staff earlier this year to cope with an expected rush of business to repair and service windfarm supply vessels.

The arrival of the apprentices will take the number of staff at his premises in the Excelsior Boatyard, Harbour Road, from 14 to 24.

Mr Holman, who moved from Kent as a teenager to study at Lowestoft’s International Boatbuilding Training College, praised the work of regional training company RAKTrain in taking all the worries out of employing apprentices.

He said: “When they saw my original story in the paper about wanting to take on apprentices they sent me an email the following day and they did everything. I did not have to touch a pen.”

More than 30 people were invited to interview and RAKtrain organised an on-the-water assessment as part of it.

“It was magical to see their enthusiasm and commitment; we really put them through it on the practical,” said Mr Holman said they were now gearing up for the near doubling of their workforce to ensure they had the right people and right jobs in place for the apprentices.

“ABP have supplied a 180ft oil tanker as a training boat for them to work on and they have been so helpful in every respect,” said Mr Holman.

He predicts his current turnover of close to £1m will rise to £5.5m/ £6m by 2016 - but without taking on apprentices he believes he would not have been able to find enough staff.

“It is difficult to find trained staff without looking abroad so the only option was to develop my own,” he said.

He knew from his offshore contacts that it was going to be very busy in the next two or three years.

“It looks like business from private motor boats and yachts will also increase,” he said.

Mr Holman started building small motorboats and yachts but the yard has now completed the construction of its first windfarm boat, a 17m, 16 passenger aluminium vessel for Sure Wind Marine.

He said: “The big thing for us will be maintaining, repairing and servicing the vessels already in the water. We are lifting two boats every day at the moment.

“However, with the extra staff we will be looking for more new builds and to diversify the range of boats we service.”



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

DFS is celebrating record results.

Sofa chain DFS Furniture has hailed a record set of results as Britain’s buoyant housing market and growing consumer confidence boosted sales.

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee is expected to keep interest rates at 0.5%.

The Bank of England is expected to keep interest rates on hold today amid mounting concern over a slowdown in the economy.

Owner and head chef of Sweet P's, Pierre Rollins.

Soul food restaurant Sweet P’s is due to reopen next week after a devastating kitchen fire six months ago.

The new board members at employee-owned social enterprise Leadiing Lives who were elected at its AGM.

More than 50 jobs have been saved in Suffolk and north-west Essex following the closure of care support charity Crossroads Care East Anglia.

The Great House in Lavenham has been awarded three rossetts from the AA. Left to right, Martine and Regis Crepy, Enrique Bilbault, Swann Auffray, David Castro, Guillavme Dericq.

An award-winning Suffolk restaurant has officially been recognised as one of the best in the country.

George Bradley of Suffolk Secrets.

The belated arrival of settled weather in mid-September has helped to deliver an “Indian Summer” boost for Suffolk Secrets, one of the county’s leading holiday lets businesses.

Some of SABMiller's beer brands.

Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev today unveiled another improved offer for rival SAB Miller.

Tesco  has revealed a 70% plunge in half-year earnings for its UK and Ireland business.

Supermarket giant Tesco revealed a 70% fall in half year earnings for its UK and Ireland business despite seeing an improvement in under-pressure sales.

The Cask Report has highlighted the importance of real ale to the the pub trade.

Drinkers of real ale are a “lifeline” for Britain’s hard-pressed pubs sector, according to a new study.

A queue outside of a Greggs store.

Baker Greggs warned the new national living wage will put pressure on the group to raise the prices of its pasties and sausage rolls.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages