Oban on the crest of a wave

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In August last year, we wrote about the exciting changes happening in marine/maritime training in Argyll through partners in the Oban a University Town (OaUT) programme.

The past 12 months have been incredibly busy in this area with colleagues in Argyll College UHI and SAMS UHI both developing new courses and opportunities with industry in Scotland. There will be more to follow on this in coming months, with exciting new initiatives being confirmed, but we wanted to update readers on current developments as there is so much happening.

With a staggering 80 per cent of Argyll’s population living within 1km of its 3,700km coastline, Argyll is ideally placed to take full advantage of the growth in marine tourism and aquaculture, and for Oban to become a centre for educating Scotland’s next generation of maritime workers.

The University of the Highlands and Islands, through Argyll College UHI, is one of the first institutions in Scotland to offer a newly developed Modern Apprenticeship in boat building and repair.

The programme has been developed by the science, engineering and manufacturing technologies alliance (SEMTA), in collaboration with industry partners and is now available to Argyll employers.

The trade association British Marine reports that 31 per cent of Scottish companies have hard to fill vacancies and this apprenticeship aims to address a shortage of qualified adults and young people entering Scotland’s boat building and repair industry.

‘Argyll has abundant natural resources, strong marine heritage, excellent science and innovation foundations, and a skilled workforce spanning global scientific research, aquaculture, marine leisure, engineering and boat building,’ says Don Mitchell, head of curriculum at Argyll College.

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