Boatbuilding students’ joy at graduating from Portsmouth college

TEN students have graduated from a city college after mastering traditional joinery and woodworking skills involved in building and repairing wooden boats.

Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 1:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 1:08 pm
First class of 2019 graduates at International Boatbuilding Training College Portsmouth after receiving their certificates

The students from International Boatbuilding Training College Portsmouth (IBTC Portsmouth) were presented with their certificates last week after completing their studies at Boathouse 4 in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Three of the students have already secured jobs in the industry while another five have been invited to work on a high profile restoration project.

The students come from a wide range of backgrounds. Although some had previous boatbuilding experience, many used the course as a way to completely change their careers.

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Student James Roser is congratulated by Head of Teaching Barnaby Sheppard at IBTC Portsmouth

Student James Roser said: ‘The course has taught me much more than new skills, techniques and the theory behind wooden construction and boatbuilding. It is apparent from a large number of fellow students that this is a place of finding a new way of life and fulfilling a passion.’ 

Head of teaching at the college, Barnaby Sheppard said: ‘I’m really proud of these graduates, they’ve learnt a fantastic amount in the last 12 months and have done some excellent work.

‘It just goes to show that it’s never too late to change career direction or learn new skills. If you’re passionate about boats and enjoy working with wood, come and have a look around or join us on one of our open afternoons.’ 

People can see current students in action at Boathouse 4 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Entry to the boathouse is free, no Historic Dockyard ticket required. IBTC Portsmouth offers frequent taster afternoons for anyone interested in finding out more about life as a boatbuilder.

Proud graduate Tim Smith receiving his Most Improved Student award from International Boatbuilding Training College Portsmouth

The courses start every six months, with the next intake this September. The course brochure can be downloaded at