A COLLEGE that teaches people the traditional skills of boatbuilding says that all of its students so far have got jobs.
The International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC), allows young people to learn a trade in Boat House 4 in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and celebrated its first anniversary by launching two small skiffs.
‘Our students have a 100% employment rate and the skills that the students learn are transferable across other trades.Jim Brooke-Jones
The college aims to involve all aspects of the community throughout the year. Not only does it offer courses to people who are looking to make a career for themselves, but also gives schoolchildren and older people chance to get involved.
To mark the anniversary, staff and students gathered as the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller, and the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Leza Tremorin, launched two St Ayles skiffs – Little Victory and Little Warrior – which were built and designed by students.
Jim Brooke-Jones, head of operations at IBTC, said: ‘We are extremely proud of what we have achieved over the last year.
‘Our aim is all about training people and teaching them a craft.
‘Our students have a 100 per cent employment rate and the skills the students learn are transferable across other trades.
‘If we are going to have these historic boats, they need to be kept in a good condition.
‘The country is low on craftsman and that is what we are providing.’
Jack Jones, 23, took the course that gained him a IBTC Practical Boatbuilding Diploma and has now landed himself a dream job by working on HMS Warrior.
Jack, who played a pivotal role building the two skiffs, said: ‘I have always had a huge interest in boat building and there is nothing like this.
‘It is a really satisfying seeing the boats we built that were launched today.
‘If you are willing to get your hands dirty and put in the work, it is a great course.
‘I previously worked in construction and didn’t see myself where I am now.
‘It is surreal to be working on HMS Warrior.’
Caroline Barrie-Smith, head of business at IBTC, said she was immensely proud of the project.
She said: ‘For the students, there is nothing better than them being surrounded by the trade when they are working.
‘Nothing makes more sense than building boats in a boat shed.
‘It helps them man up and gets them excited.’
Oarsome Chance, based in Bournemouth, put in the funds to help build the skiffs.