Portsoy Community Enterprise (PCE, formerly The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival) is delighted to announce the start of a new boat building project which will be based at The Boatshed, the permanent facility for the construction of wooden vessels by the Old Harbour at Portsoy.

The Project 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.

Developed in conjunction with Banff Academy and supported by Chevron, in addition to providing wood working and boat building skills, the two year course will aim to develop life skills with numeracy and literacy teaching embedded in all activities. The performance of the participants will be measured and recorded both for themselves and potential employers. 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.

Alan Horberry, Rector at Banff Academy commented:  “We are delighted to support and be part of the Youth Boat Build Project sponsored by Chevron. We already have a strong and productive partnership with Portsoy Community Enterprise and the Project enhances this partnership to the benefit of some of our most educationally vulnerable pupils.

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 our more vulnerable pupils.

Alex Yelland, Chevron Upstream Europe’s Policy, Government and Public Affairs Manager, said: “Chevron seeks to build partnerships that support the economic and social development of the communities where we work.  We invest in programmes that teach young people about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and vocational training programmes that lead to employability, jobs and enhanced skill sets.  We are delighted to support the Youth Boat Build Project and hope it will inspire the participants to pursue a career using the skills they learn.”

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