Eight Year 10 students from Berinsfield, Oxfordshire, battled it out on the water at Queenford Lakes recently, following five weeks of boat building school with the world’s leading jet tender specialist, Williams Performance Tenders.

The teenagers (named below) each designed and built their own radio controlled boats, during a series of powerboat workshops held each Saturday. The finale event saw them put their creations to the test as they took to the water to compete in time trials and exhilarating head-to-head races.

Students’ families and friends came along to join in the fun, along with newly-elected Mayor of Abingdon-on-Thames, Councillor Helen Pighills, and her husband Mr Mike Pighills; MP for Henley, John Howell; Leader of the South Oxfordshire District Council, John Cotton; and Local Councillor for Benson and Crowmarsh, Richard Pullen.

Williams Performance Tenders has run the powerboat workshops for a number of years – offering local young people the chance to learn life-long skills in the marine and engineering industry and teaching them more about the sector in which Williams is recognised as a global leader.

One of the lucky eight students will also now be offered an interview for a full-time apprenticeship at the Williams factory. Two young apprentices are already employed at the factory – with this year’s apprentice due to start work in September.

Mathew Hornsby, Sales Director at Williams Performance Tenders, commented: “We set up this programme to give young people with an interest in the marine industry an opportunity to learn the practical skills required. The commitment and enthusiasm they have all shown over the last few weeks has been fantastic. We are very fortunate to now be able to offer one of the students an interview for a full-time apprenticeship at the Williams factory – it’s not going to be an easy decision as they have all shown such skill and talent. Investing in the boat builders and designers of the future is very exciting and is an aspect of our business that we look forward to expanding.”

The scheme was started by brothers Mathew and John Hornsby, founders of Williams Performance Tenders, and is run in partnership with Employment Action Group.

Founded in 2004, Williams Performance Tenders has established itself as the world’s leading jet tender specialist, renowned for its range of Turbojet, Dieseljet and Sportjet models. The company now employs 50 staff at its Oxfordshire base and is supported by a global team of factory trained engineers.


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