‘We want to make a difference,’ says Sir Ben Ainslie on jobs promise

8/8/17

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QE Discussion at Trafalgar Gate, Portsmouth.

Sam Lockwood, QEC Maintenance Engineer at the Amutiny Centre.

Photography by Habibur Rahman PPP-170908-002128006

WATCH: The big role Portsmouth apprentices played in the HMS Queen Elizabeth project

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Ben Ainslie Racing has announced 50 of the 100 jobs at the base, due to open next May, will go to people from the local area.

13/10/2014 (CF)''Minister of Portsmouth Matthew Hancock met with Sir Ben Ainslie on Monday at his new base which is being built at The Camber in Old Portsmouth.''Pictured is: (l-r) Thomas Malbon (12) and Jacob Stone (12) from Charter Academy with Sir Ben Ainslie at The Camber.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142938-1399) PPP-141013-184454001

13/10/2014 (CF)''Minister of Portsmouth Matthew Hancock met with Sir Ben Ainslie on Monday at his new base which is being built at The Camber in Old Portsmouth.''Pictured is: (l-r) Thomas Malbon (12) and Jacob Stone (12) from Charter Academy with Sir Ben Ainslie at The Camber.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142938-1399) PPP-141013-184454001

The team predicts up to 1,000 indirect jobs will be created from the venture, including in shops, hotels, restaurants and bars.

Sir Ben said: ‘It is very important that local people, the local community, are given these chances, and that is why we wanted to be here – to help make a difference.

‘It is important that we do that and get local kids here and on to the water and into technology that is around sport.’

Minister for Portsmouth, Matthew Hancock, said the government had been working with Ben Ainslie Racing on conditions of its funding to the project.

13/10/2014 (CF)''Minister of Portsmouth Matthew Hancock met with Sir Ben Ainslie on Monday at his new base which is being built at The Camber in Old Portsmouth.''Pictured is: Lateefa Chilver (10) from St Jude's Primary School, doing some artwork on the boards that surround Sir Ben Ainslie's new base.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142938-1276) PPP-141013-184418001

13/10/2014 (CF)''Minister of Portsmouth Matthew Hancock met with Sir Ben Ainslie on Monday at his new base which is being built at The Camber in Old Portsmouth.''Pictured is: Lateefa Chilver (10) from St Jude's Primary School, doing some artwork on the boards that surround Sir Ben Ainslie's new base.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142938-1276) PPP-141013-184418001

Mr Hancock said: ‘We’re putting £7.5m into the project and I have now agreed conditions with the team, including employing at least half their staff from the local area, taking on at least 14 apprentices and giving local suppliers the top priority.’

Yesterday, Sir Ben launched a new charity, the 1851 Trust, to help get more young people into the sport and inspire the next generation.

Sir Ben added: ‘We are bringing young people in and getting them inspired about what we are doing, getting them into sport and sailing.

‘We also want to have a number of apprenticeship schemes to create jobs for people in the area and help people get into the technical side of the marine industry and the opportunities that are available there.’

The trust’s royal patron is HRH Duchess of Cambridge, who was unable to attend the launch at Spinnaker Tower.

A statement read on her behalf said: ‘I am privileged to be the patron of the 1851 Trust. I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed sailing from a young age. This is a hugely exciting time for sailing as the team bids to bring back the America’s Cup to Britain.’

The trust has been set up as a grant-giving charity, based in the city but will work across the country.

Some of the trustees of the new charity, which will be based in Portsmouth, include Rear Admiral Lord Stevens, who wrote the Transforming Solent report for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; American businesswoman Wendy Schmidt, and television presenter Georgie Thompson, who recently became engaged to Sir Ben.

Sir Keith Mills, former deputy chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, is chairman of trustees.

He said: ‘I know how sportsmen and teams can engage and inspire young people.’

We are just beginning at the America’s Cup project with an iconic sailor. All these children involved with the mural are already engaging.’

Mural spruces up hoardings

ONE of the first activities of the new 1851 Trust was involving school children in an Old Portsmouth art project.

Yesterday, pupils of various ages from six schools gathered at Ben Ainslie Racing’s base at the Camber and started work on a mural of the Solent.

Schools worked on ships, boats and other iconic symbols of the area.

James Waterfield, an art teacher from Park Community School in Havant, said: ‘The mural represents the Solent and we have been painting Ben Ainslie Racing-inspired yachts. Each school has brought about 10 children. It was a way to get young people involved.’

Rhys Crot, 15, who is in Year 11 at the Havant school, said: ‘It will look good when it’s done.’

Chloe Larcom, 15, who is also in Year 11, added: ‘I have been looking up Ben Ainslie online. I had not heard of him before. It’s really exciting that he is here.’

The mural was part of the trust’s work in the city to inspire young people and get them involved in the America’s Cup bid base.

Matt Cornwell, one of the sailors for Ben Ainslie Racing, said: ‘We are launching the trust so we thought it would be a good time to get young people involved down at the site.

‘We are trying to connect with the city.’

Paul Gonella of community group Strong Island was involved in setting the art event up.

‘Ben Ainslie Racing approached us some time ago and we worked out how to use the hoardings for the community and how we could get schools involved,’ he said.

Minister for Portsmouth Matthew Hancock visited the site of Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup bid headquarters and met with sailors, school children and artists.

He said: ‘The Ben Ainslie project is an exciting part of Portsmouth’s future.

‘The future is about getting young people excited about opportunities and the jobs they bring.

‘I am delighted to see how effectively Ben Ainslie Racing have got the excitement going among the schools in Portsmouth.’