Developed in conjunction with Banff Academy and supported by Chevron, The Boatshed has embarked on a project which will provide 14 to 16 year old pupils from Banff Academy with an out-of-school opportunity to develop skills via a programme of practical boat building, to a point where they could enter a construction or boat building apprenticeship.

In year one, the students build two boats: a simple sailing dinghy and a more complex rowing boat. Successful completion of the first year is a requisite for continuing into year two during which students will build a river coble, a traditional boat made of larch and oak clenched with copper nails and roves.

In addition to providing wood working and boat building skills, the two year course aims to develop life skills with numeracy and literacy teaching embedded in all activities. The performance of the participants is measured and recorded both for themselves and potential employers.

The Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) agenda is a key priority at Banff Academy and the impact of the Chevron Outreach Project greatly supports the development of the employability skills of the school’s more vulnerable pupils.

The long term aim is to create the potential for one or more of the participants qualifying to apply for a boat building apprenticeship (at Lowestoft or Portsmouth) and thereafter being employed at The Boatshed.

A key objective is also the creation of a template for the promotion and development of the Project in schools and academies across Scotland.