EveningNews24

Tony Holman with Sea Weasel

Lowestoft boatbuilder’s call for 15 apprentices

Friday, May 23, 2014
8.00 AM

The boss of a Lowestoft boatbuilding and repairs firm is looking to take on up to 15 apprentices to meet a predicted glut of windfarm business.

Tony Holman, 24, launched Holman Marine Solutions out of a barn five years ago and now has a staff of 14 at his premises in the Excelsior Boatyard, Harbour Road.

However, he fears he will not have enough skilled tradesmen to cope with the expected rush of business to repair and service windfarm supply vessels as new offshore projects take off around the country.

Mr Holman, who moved from Kent as a teenager to study at the town’s International Boatbuilding Training College, said: “I know from my offshore contacts that it is 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 is appealing to school leavers to get in touch if they are keen on a career as a welder, fabricator, boatbuilder, engineer or upholsterer/machinist.

“We have a lot of skilled people in the yard and my aim is to pair up an apprentice with each one of them.”

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: “I have had a lot of interest in further new builds but the market is very competitive with East European companies coming in.

“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.

“We have got the 16m Sea Weasel in the yard at the moment and she is the biggest windfarm boat ever lifted in Lowestoft.”

Mr Holman said his current turnover was close to £1m but he predicted it would rise to £5.5m to £6m by 2016.

Anyone interested in apprenticeships is asked to get in contact via the website www.holmanmarinecolutions.com

Is your business thriving? Email stephen.pullinger@archant.co.uk