Provost Todd cuts the ribbon to declare Bonnet Toun Bicycles open

Innovative DYW project at Stewarton Academy is officially open!

Provost Jim Todd, who was joined by Councillor Elaine Cowan, Spokesperson for Education, cut a ceremonial ribbon to officially open the innovative Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Bonnet Toun Bicycles, which is part of Stewarton Skills Academy.

Stewarton Skills Academy will help to develop vocational, employability and life skills in the young people through structured projects, delivered within the curriculum and as part of the school timetable. The projects will help prepare them for the world of work either in the short term straight from school or in the medium to long term after further education.

The projects are delivered by either college lecturers or appropriately qualified and accredited teachers supported in a number of cases by external partners or individuals with knowledge, experience, and qualifications in the particular field of activity. The young people develop employability and life skills including the core skills referred to as the 6C’s and have the opportunity to gain accredited qualifications recognised by various sectors giving them equality of opportunity.      

Four exciting projects make up the Skills Academy:

  • Wee Roasters - where young people learn barista skills supported by teaching staff who have gained their barista qualifications and local volunteers
  • Bonnet Toun Bicycles - where young people learn about bike repairs and maintenance, which was officially opened by Provost Todd
  • Raise the Bar - where young people learn about events management
  • Stewarton Construction - where young people learn construction skills

At the special event, Provost Todd, Councillor Cowan and Depute Head Teacher Graeme Johnston were joined by Walter Smith, Business Ambassador DYW Ayrshire, DYW Vice-Chair Mike Stewart, DYW Ayrshire Regional Lead Gillian Longmuir, Andrew Black from Vibrant Communities, Alan and Derek from partner organisation Cycle Station, a not for profit social enterprise Home ⋆ Cycle Station; and Scott Mitchell from Cycle Annick (20+) Cycle Annick | Facebook

All projects are funded by DYW and supported by Ayrshire College.

Provost Jim Todd said: “I was delighted to officially open the Stewarton Skills Academy project – Bonnet Toun Bicycles. It is so important to engage with our young people and to support brilliant projects like this that will help them to succeed and achieve.

“Work-based education has a very important role to play in helping our young people get ready for being in the workplace and I know the DYW Stewarton Skills Academy is going to make a positive difference.”

Graeme Johnston, Depute Head Teacher said: “The Skills Academy and the various innovative school projects, which make it up, are creating a real difference for our young people. It has allowed us to expand our curriculum and become focused on the importance of vocational education and how it helps improve our pupils’ chances of employment.

“It is really motivating many of our learners to develop their core skills including confidence and communication and become more prepared for the world of work. “

Walter Smith, MBE, DYW Ayrshire Business Ambassador said: “The ongoing addition of new projects such as the Bonnet Toun Bicycles project within the skills academy at Stewarton Academy is key to the development of vocational and employability skills for young people in the school environment. Significant results are being achieved in improved attainment, positive destinations and community involvement. But most importantly it’s providing equal opportunity for all.”