In 2014, National Historic Ships UK (NHS-UK), in partnership with a range of traditional vessel operators launched a project under the title, ‘Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership’ (SHTP). The aim of this project, funded by a grant of £261,100 from the Heritage Lottery, was to help arrest the decline in the traditional seamanship skills that are integral to the future of the UK’s operational historic vessels.
The scheme provided ten 12-month training placements at five partner sites offering on-board specialist training in operational skills. The trainees also undertook a tailored course in historic vessel maintenance at the International Boatbuilding Training College and an interpretation placement at the Scottish Fisheries Museum.
Over the course of the two year training scheme, a skills mapping exercise was carried out to identify the specific skills that the SHTP trainees needed to develop to operate and maintain the five partnering historic vessels. This included examining the sailing skills whilst at sea and the practical skills needed when laying up and maintaining the vessels over the winter months.
The aims and outcomes of SHTP can be seen in more detail via the project documentation which can be downloaded below:
Further information, including trainee monthly updates, can be found on the regional SHTP project pages at Shipshape Scotland, Shipshape East Anglia, Shipshape Thames Estuary, Shipshape Solent and Shipshape South West via www.shipshapenetwork.org.uk.