Solo Sails


Apprentice Alice Tresidder has joined Solo Sails in Newlyn to help meet the demands of the growing business.

Sail-maker Andrew Wood faced a dilemma common to small businesses – how to expand his company and recruit additional staff, without taking on too much risk.

He sought the advice and support of the Cornwall Apprenticeship Agency (CAA). Its specialist advisors helped him with the recruitment and payroll process and now Alice is acquiring skills in the trade while supporting the flow of work at the busy sail loft.

Andrew, who set up his business on his own two years ago, said: “I’d got to the stage where there was too much work for just myself, but I wasn’t able to take someone on full-time. This recent season has been very good, with a lot of new orders. Getting an apprentice was the stepping-stone I needed.

“I found the whole process of working with the CAA to find the right candidate very simple and easy. They helped with issues like health and safety and national insurance, and I’m due to receive a funding grant.”

The Agency created a training framework tailored to Alice’s role, which will enable her to gain qualifications during her one-year apprenticeship.

The 22-year-old, from Penzance, said: “I enjoy sewing and gaining a new skill. I’m finding it very varied and I’m learning a lot.”

Andrew added: “Alice’s getting on brilliantly. An apprenticeship works well for sail-making, as it’s a skill that needs to be taught on the job.

“Now I can get on with other jobs like the accounts, sail designs, quotes and customer service, while she helps ensure the continuity of our work.”