ASC’s team of apprentices is helping to restore the historic City of Adelaide clipper to its original form, and will manufacture unique and specific items for installation on the ship.  Under a new agreement between ASC Pty Ltd and the volunteer-run organisation which is preserving the world’s oldest clipper ship, the apprentices will produce manufactured products based on supplied designs which aim to restore the ship’s historic features. 

One of the apprentices’ first projects will be the manufacture of customised stanchions, which are upright metal and railing structures. The agreement is ongoing, allowing for extra projects to be commenced as required to continue the ship’s restoration. 

The City of Adelaide clipper was built in 1864 to carry passengers to South Australia, and made 23 return voyages between London and Adelaide. It was among the fastest of its time. It returned to South Australia in 2014 after spending years neglected in Scotland and is now based at Dock 2 in Port Adelaide, where volunteers plan to create a historic ‘seaport village’.

ASC Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Stuart Whiley said the agreement was an opportunity to give back to the community, and refine the skills of submarine apprentices.  “The complexity of working with a system as sophisticated as a submarine exposes our apprentices to a wide range of challenges and problem-solving tasks,” Whiley said. “Extending that to the City for Adelaide clipper restoration project gives our apprentices another context in which to develop their skills, and demonstrate the results to the public. This is an exciting new partnership with the City for Adelaide, which will contribute to supporting local heritage and further improve our community for the future.” 

ASC currently employs more than 70 apprentices across its sites in South Australia and Western Australia and is adding to that with a new intake that will commence in 2023. 

City of Adelaide Preservation Trust Director Peter Christopher welcomed the support. “The work to be undertaken by ASC apprentices will significantly speed up the restoration work being undertaken by our volunteers,” Christopher said. “The City of Adelaide is of composite construction, with a wooden hull over an iron frame, enabling metal work projects to be undertaken by the apprentices.”

ASC apprentice Connor Norris said he looked forward to working on the project. “Getting to work on submarines is extremely rewarding and exciting. It’s challenging and complex work, and we know we are doing something important for Australia,” Norris said. “This project with the City for Adelaide means that we get to take that work out into the community, show people what we can do, and contribute to the future of Port Adelaide. It’s going to be nice to know that there’s a little piece of our work on the clipper ship, which people and their children will get to see every day when they go through on tours.”

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