Workstart students in Alloa will be making a big splash with their skills for work and life this year, via a new and exciting partnership with Vital Spark Racing C.I.C.
Vital Spark Racing C.I.C. is a social enterprise company based in Alloa’s Harbour, who deliver practical work placement experience in powerboat building, amongst other smaller projects such as e-bike maintenance.
Workstart students Rogan Campbell (16) , Faith Cousins (16), Kelvyn Lindsay (18) , Gyllan Morrice (19), Bernie Iliff (16), Kerr Evans (21) and Kieran Stevenson (18), are under the direction of John Young, an experienced offshore powerboat racer who won the National Championships three times and set six National speed records in his class.
So far the students’ knowledge and practical skills in this field have increased, as well as confidence and general employability skills. John Young, Director of Vital Spark Racing, said: “It is great to see the young people’s enthusiasm and willingness to learn some of the skills we are offering, and our pleasure to help them any way we can.”
Students successfully completing their Workstart course may be offered further training at Vital Spark Racing, with the added opportunity to achieve accredited qualifications in welding, as well as some going on to attain their boating licence.
Angela MacLeod, a lecturer in FVC’s Department of Business and Communities, said: “I am immensely proud of the achievements and outcomes that all our Workstart students have made during the course of the academic year. It has been rewarding to see the opportunities our students have had to widen their skills and aspirations both within the classroom environment, and out on placement in places like the workshop at Vital Spark Racing, conservation work with Froglife and The Conservation Volunteers at Gartmorn Dam and also soon at the Remakery at Alloa Community Enterprise.
“I cannot thank John from Vital Spark Racing, and others involved in offering opportunities enough. These partnerships between Forth Valley College and local businesses will open employment doors for our Workstart students that they would never have considered pushing before.
“As well as learning all the different elements of speedboats, students have been renovating a 1988 Shakespeare Swallow 550 powerboat, back to her original specifications: to date they have replaced the gear box system, installed the windscreen and fitted the bilge pump.
“The aim is for the boat to be fully restored and fitted out and then the students will be part of the team launching and testing it on the river Forth, giving them the chance to experience operating a powerboat.
“So far the students’ knowledge and practical skills in this field have increased, as well as confidence and general employability skills. Students successfully completing their Workstart course will be offered further training at Vital Spark Racing, with the added opportunity to achieve accredited qualifications in welding as well as attain their boating licence.”
For more information about Vital Spark Racing C.I.C. visit https://www.vital-spark.org/