The charity behind the campaign to bring the Viola back to Hull went behind the scenes at a leading engineering training provider to explore opportunities for young people to develop their skills by restoring the vessel.
The Viola Trust and Humberside Engineering Training Association (HETA) are now working on plans for a business event at the training centre to attract investment for the project and to show employers the skills being taught for marine engineering and other disciplines.
HETA, which was founded in Hull more than 50 years ago, trains hundreds of apprentices every year on both banks of the Humber for careers in industry. Paul Escreet, Chair of the Trust and of Hessle-based tug owner and operator SMS Towage, visited the company’s headquarters in Hull to discuss the work of the marine engineering team which was established last year.
He said: “I was impressed by the quality of the facilities, the tutors and the learners and by the innovation and enthusiasm of everybody I met. Even with HETA’s long and proud history there was a recognition that the Viola presents a challenge from another age in terms of engineering techniques, but there is also a confidence that the team at HETA can do the job.
“I’m now looking forward to discussing the next steps, and in particular the idea of using the facilities at HETA including an excellent lecture theatre to bring together key figures from the regional business community to promote engineering training opportunities.”
Iain Elliott, Chief Executive of HETA, said: “The story of the Viola is both fascinating and inspirational and it is very exciting to think that our apprentices could have a part to play in her restoration.
“We were delighted welcome Paul to our centre in Hull and we hope very much that we can now work together to show the wider business community the importance of the Viola project and its potential for improving engineering skills, particularly in the maritime sector.”
The picture shows Paul Escreet (left) with Iain Elliott at HETA’s workshops in Hull.