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The Apprentice - but this one's for Steve

PUBLISHED: 10:56 30 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:49 07 July 2010

Marine engineer Steve Chadd is on the lookout for an apprentice.

Marine engineer Steve Chadd is on the lookout for an apprentice.

He has worked on everything from oil rigs to luxury yachts in an offshore career spanning three decades.

But after setting up a new workshop in Wells, veteran marine engineer Steve Chadd wants to pass on his lifetime of knowledge by hiring a new apprentice.

He has worked on everything from oil rigs to luxury yachts in an offshore career spanning three decades.

But after setting up a new workshop in Wells, veteran marine engineer Steve Chadd wants to pass on his lifetime of knowledge by hiring a new apprentice.

The 52-year-old said it was a unique opportunity to learn first-hand the skills he used to build a client list including club mogul Peter Stringfellow and Formula One front-runner Jenson Button.

Mr Chadd took over a derelict workshop in Maryland two months ago to open his one-man Kissworks business, fabricating precision metalwork for boats, businesses and homes.

He spent 14 years in the harsh workplaces of the oil industry followed by a career meeting the exacting demands of the super-rich.

And the boss - who once fired a fitter for attempting to use a spirit level to line up an installation against the gently swaying horizon on a boat - said he expected the same high standards of his new trainee.

“I will be teaching them everything I know,” he said. “It is no good just knowing one aspect of marine engineering if you cannot put them all together.

“They will have to have a brain and they will be expected to work very hard. The work is very heavy and it can be dangerous.

“You have to be able to see ahead to know what you are making is going to work. But it is no good designing something that works but looks awful. It has got to be artistically correct as well.”

Mr Chadd said the length of the apprenticeship would depend on the application. He said qualifications were “not necessarily a must” as he hoped to be able to put the apprentice through college courses.

“If you have got the aptitude you don't need five A levels to be an engineer,” he said. “You just need a good mind and be able to see things in three dimensions.”

“I have got a vast amount of experience but I am still learning. There is always another problem you have not come across - especially with boats, and that is what keeps it interesting.”

Mr Chadd was a chief engineer on some of the world's finest super-yachts, employing 16 engineers at his previous company based in Spain. He has also constructed a replica Spanish galleon for a stage show and built sets for film companies.

For more details about Mr Chadd's apprenticeship, contact Kissworks on 01328 820867.

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