Scottish Maritime Museum - Museums Association

Scottish Maritime Museum

The Scottish Boat Building School teaches trainees – some of whom are young offenders, long-term unemployed or facing other personal challenges – basic woodworking skills that are not only transferable to the wider workplace but are also used to return older vessels to the water or improve displays in the museum.

Repairs carried out on private boats also boost the museum’s commercial arm, helping the project to become self-sustainable. Working in tandem with local agencies, the project markedly improves the self-confidence of the trainees, the vast majority of whom have gone into further employment.

“Museums are ideally placed to connect to the audiences that may not engage with other organisations,” says director David Mann. “We can be the non-confrontational place where people can receive the health and social benefits that activities like this can offer.”