AGM, Annual Dinner and Safety Forum Round-Up

Thursday 25th January 2018

We would like to thank everyone who joined us at the Safety Forum, Annual Dinner and AGM at the Lakeside Hotel, Windermere last week.


Following a productive Safety Forum in the afternoon, we assembled for the Annual Dinner on Thursday evening, with distinguished guests including our own Norman Finlay (MBE) and our after-dinner speakers, noted comedy writer, Barry Cryer (OBE) and comedian Lea Roberts. Between them, the pair of speakers provided a very witty and amusing end to the evening! A special mention goes to Mike Conafray for exceeding himself yet again in organising the evening’s entertainment.


The AGM on Friday morning saw a number of important updates. Changes to the committee involved Brett Metcalfe, Malcolm Duncan and Mike Conafray standing down (but the latter staying on as our ‘Social Secretary’!), whilst Neil Clarkson was re-elected, along with Richard Brooks and Joshua Metcalfe who were elected to the committee for the first time. Kaye Conafray has been reappointed as Treasurer.


Following the elections, Mark Meade and Mark Ranson presented an overview of association activity in 2017 – a round-up can be found here – and this was followed by remarks from our President, Norman Finlay, an update on subscriptions from Mark Meade, and presentations from our PR and Marketing partners, Tamarindo, and our Safety Forum Chair, Kerrie Forster.


Afterwards, Helen McCormick of CTRL Solutions outlined the implications of Brexit on the workboat industry. Her insightful talk outlined the main issues that workboat owners should bear in mind while the full implications of Brexit remain unclear.


We then heard from our sponsors. Sarah Lovell of Stream Marine Training (SMT) provided an update on the development of their Apprenticeship course, giving members the opportunity to respond and provide direct feedback. Shawbrook Marine Asset Finance emphasised the value of long-term relationships and a principled approach to commercial marine finance. Finally, Damen Shipyards revealed a number of new vessel designs, developed in collaboration with workboat operators.


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We are delighted to report that the final piece of the Apprenticeship 'jigsaw' is now in place – with the Workboat Crewmember Standard and end-point assessment already published, the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) has now recommended a funding band of £20,000 per Apprentice.

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It was great to see so many of you at Seawork and to catch up – both around the event and at the NWA Seawork dinner. Please find below a quick round-up of highlights from the event.

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