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Building Employability Skills

Feb 27, 2023

Our Boat Building Program Just Keeps Growing

What started out several years ago as a pilot program to build a wooden row boat in three days has evolved into an incredibly valuable program that is helping students earn school credit while they gain valuable employability skills and experience.

Safe Spaces and Relationships is a partnership between HomeBridge, Mount Saint Vincent University and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. It has the young people working with students from MSVU’s Child and Youth Care program and the Marine Conservation Assistant from the Museum to build a 14-foot foot Bird Class sailing and rowing dinghy. This build will be completely from scratch, following specific plans. The group is also tasked with repairing a 21' power boat that will be used as a safety boat for upcoming rowing and sailing program. The students will put the decks on the boat as well as installing combings, rubrails and the electrical system. All electrical work will be conducted by a government electrician.

The participants in this five-month program all live in the HomeBridge Community and attend our on-site school program, Bridges for Learning (BFL). Supported by our Recreation Therapist and the BFL Team, they travel to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic every Tuesday afternoon to work in the boat shop. This opportunity allows the participants to gain experience in construction and building, planning and design, teamwork, the use of hand tools and workplace safety; all important employability skills that will them in their future endeavours. They can also earn an academic credit for their efforts.

Thank you to our community partners for making this opportunity possible for the youth and to the Youth Development Initiative funding the program. The young people are extremely excited about program and are really enjoying their time in the boat shop.

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