An apprentice graduate at Pendennis Shipyard has won the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights Queen’s Silver Medal.

The Silver Medal originates back to 1944 when His Majesty King George VI, Permanent Master of the Shipwrights’ Company, introduced an award for the Shipyard Apprentice of the Year.

Josh McKnight is the latest recipient following a rigorous process that sees over 100 applications from UK marine apprentices each year, but only 24 of the very best selected for the gruelling assessment week in Kielder Water, Northumberland.

Following these trials, six are shortlisted to attend the Education and Charities Committee for probing interviews about their experiences and their personal and professional goals. It is only at the end of these interviews that the winners are announced.

The standard of the Pendennis scheme is so high that four of the company’s apprentices were selected for the initial week’s trial, with two then shortlisted for the final interview stage, resulting in McKnight being awarded the top honours, and fellow apprentice Rebecca Avery named as fourth.

Both are now enrolled in the post-apprenticeship course at Pendennis, alongside full-time employment – McKnight as an electrician and Avery as part of the engineering team.

They will be using the past four-year’s experience to help manage teams of current apprentices as they volunteer at local charities and community programmes during the upcoming National Apprenticeship Week (March 6-10). Following the great success of this initiative in 2016, Pendennis is keen to promote a similar local community-based activity again this year.

In 2016 the company’s apprentices provided vital labour to eight local projects including BF Adventure, Children’s Hospice South West, Pendennis Brass Band, St Francis School, Falmouth Cricket Club and Mylor Sailability and Pendennis Shipyard is now looking for more community projects to support during this year’s NAW.

If you are involved in a local cause that needs some young, enthusiastic manual labour for a day, contact Pendennis Shipyard for more information.