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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

St. Johns Ship Building Launches Vocational Training and Apprenticeship Program

May 9, 2023

(Photo: St. Johns Ship Building)

(Photo: St. Johns Ship Building)

St. Johns Ship Building (SJSB) is working to attract the next generation of skilled shipyard workers.

The Palatka, Fla. shipbuilder announced it has introduced a comprehensive vocational training program designed to cultivate a variety of sought-after marine and shipbuilding crafts and trades. The program will be progressively rolled out, with each stage focusing on different skill sets and timeframes.

The initial six-week course aims to provide workers with the essential skills required in the industry. After completing this foundational program, participants will transition into multi-year, on-the-job apprenticeships, allowing them to further develop and master their chosen crafts. Starting with welding and shipfitting trades, the program will eventually expand to encompass other relevant disciplines.

Combining both classroom instruction and hands-on experience, the training program offers paid opportunities for candidates throughout its duration.

Ed Sheets, Executive VP of Americraft Marine Group, said, "We hope that St. John's can play a crucial role in introducing shipbuilding crafts to hundreds of qualified candidates in the coming years. Expanding our workforce is not only vital for the long-term success of our industry but also provides SJSB with the unique advantage of training future employees on our own campus. This enables them to align their skill development with the adoption of the culture and values we believe are essential for a high-performing team."

St. Johns is active in new construction and repair of a wide variety of steel and aluminum vessels, including ferries, tugs, deck, and tank barges, landing crafts, and general cargo vessels. It is also one of several U.S. shipyards currently building vessels that support and service offshore wind farms.  

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