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Stourport Matt gets on board to learn his craft
A BUSINESS which aims to keep Stourport’s canal heritage alive has hired a “valuable” budding engineer as its first apprentice.
Stourport Canal Craft, based in Sandy Lane Industrial Estate, recruited Matthew Graham, 18, who signed his apprenticeship papers last month in front of the town’s Mayor Gary Talbot at a meeting to celebrate the firm’s first anniversary.
The Stourport teenager started work this month and will split his time between the job and an engineering course at Worcester College of Technology.
Canal Craft is owned by Gill and Derek Fradgley and builds narrowboat and houseboat shells, sourcing all materials from within a 10-mile radius of Stourport.
Mr Fradgley said: “I am very keen on the apprenticeship scheme through which Matthew applied.
“He wanted to be an engineer, following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps, and that impressed us. For ourselves it will be extremely valuable as we will be able to give him proper training and we will have a homegrown lad on the books.
“For him, it will be valuable as all potential employers will be able to see he has had this training.”
The co-owner said Matthew would be taken through all the process of constructing the steel shells from bending to welding and fabricating the material.
“He will be able to get involved in everything,” saidMr Fradgley.
Mrs Fradgley said branching out into building houseboat shells, having started out just working on narrowboats, would allow the company to take on more local engineers during the year.
“This is a growingmarketfor us,”
Mr Fradgley said the first year of business had been a “very exciting time” for its staff.
He added: “It is really important to retain these skills in Stourport with its canal heritage.”