chevron drives local skills development through boat build project

Chevron Upstream Europe, together with Portsoy Community Enterprise (formerly The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival) and Banff Academy, has announced the start of a new youth boat building project to help drive the development employability skills in the local community.

The practical outreach programme will provide teenagers (14 to 16 year olds) from the North-East with an out-of-school opportunity to develop traditional boat building skills to help equip them with entering a construction or boat building apprenticeship. The project is being run from the Boatshed, the permanent facility for the construction of wooden vessels by the Old Harbour at Portsoy.

Children from Chevron

Chevron Upstream Europe's Policy, Government and Public Affairs manager, Alex Yelland (far right), with pupils from the Boat Build Project. Image courtesy of Duncan Brown (Press & Journal).

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 agenda is a key priority at Banff Academy and the impact of Chevron’s outreach project greatly supports the development of the employability skills of our more vulnerable pupils.”

Chevron youth boating project

Local MP Eilidh Whiteford, joined the pupils at the recent Boat Build Project launch event. Image courtesy of SnubbaChub Photography.

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.”

Local MP Eilidh Whiteford, who joined the pupils at the recent project launch event, added: “The project is a fantastic resource which will give youngsters in the Banff area the kind of real, hands-on training and life skills that employers really value. It builds on the good work done establishing the Boatshed, and credit is due to the staff and volunteers at Portsoy Community Enterprise, staff at Chevron and Banff Academy for bringing it to fruition.”

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.