Balfour apprentices show spirit of adventure

1st November 2016

A team of apprentices from the construction company Balfour Beatty tested their skills with a weekend of water-based activities with a sailing charity.

Emerging Talent apprentices visited Turn to Starboard in Falmouth and set sail on board the Spirit of Falmouth, where they adopted the role of crew members to learn leadership skills.

The 11-strong team learned how to sail, operate masts and steer the tall ship. As the sun began to set, the hardy group cooked meals on open fires using fish they had caught earlier that day.

The apprentices, who are based all over the UK, and said the trip was a fantastic experience which allowed them to improve their skills while working together.

Apprentice Matt said: “Over the weekend we were given the opportunity to hoist the sails, navigate the boat and enjoy a spot of fishing before relaxing on a secluded beach with a barbecue and a few beers. One of the most pleasing aspects was everyone’s willingness to work together as a team, whether it was washing the deck, preparing food or pulling the ropes when mooring. I think this represents the brilliant job Balfour Beatty are doing as a company to ingrain its values into all of its employees.’

Apprentice Thomas said: “Not only did we learn a great deal from this experience, we had a fantastic time filled with fun and laughter. Individuals from across the business came together and despite not knowing each other everybody mucked in, worked together as a team and ultimately had a fantastic time.”

Turn to Starboard is a charity that helps military personnel affected by operations to gain sailing qualifications to help start new careers in the marine industry. They also offer sailing trips to Service families who have been affected by operations to spend time together on a skippered yacht. At 92 feet and weighing in at 88 tonnes, the Spirit of Falmouth is as long as seven cars and weighs the equivalent of 13 killer whales. The largest sail is as big as one-and-a-half squash courts. The vessel was donated to the charity by the Prince’s Trust in 2014.

Matt added: “To listen to the individuals stories about the challenges they have overcome is admirable and for them to then help others overcome their personal battles through learning to sail is absolutely brilliant.”

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