Bute Driving Academy produces its first graduates

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The first graduates from the Bute Driving Academy project received certificates this week marking the successful completion of their course.

Raymond Lench, Duncan Brown and Matthew Reid successfully passed their driving theory test, with the help of local driving instructor Jim Thomson, and were each presented with a voucher for ten practical lessons – plus one free from Jim, who runs the Mini Drivers driving school – and a safety kit including a water bottle, first aid equipment and an emergency warning triangle.

But the project wasn’t just about giving each candidate the tuition required to pass their theory test – it also included an SQA certificate in ‘responsibility of employment’, first aid training, safe driving tuition from Strathclyde Police, motivational training and attendance at a Real Time Crash Scenario organised by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and staged in public at Rothesay Joint Campus at the end of June.

The project was also to have included a session on car maintenance, but the event was cancelled due to the weather; it will be rescheduled soon and, like the crash scenario in June, will be open to the local community.

The project was funded by the 16+ Learning Choices organisation and was organised and delivered in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council’s local youth services worker Anne Kennovin, Skills Development Scotland and Argyll College’s Rothesay learning centre.

Thirty-seven young people applied for a place on the course and six successful candidates were chosen – the three who have already passed their theory test, and another three who have until the end of September to do likewise.

Said Anne: “It’s been a good programme for engaging the young people involved and expanding their opportunities – Duncan, for example, has a full-time job lined up if he passes his practical test.

“The project has been running, very successfully, in Cowal for a number of years, and we decided to replicate their model. I’m very pleased with the success rate so far.”