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Ryan Features For Promote Shetland

Ryan Features For Promote Shetland

From Promote Shetland: 

Meet Ryan Stevenson, 25, who is at the vanguard of bringing a boat-building industry back to Shetland. He’s the project manager of boat building at Malakoff, which is Shetland’s oldest marine engineering company.

But while Malakoff ran shipyards in the early 1900s, and possibly earlier, it has only been building boats since the 1980s, when Shetland’s booming salmon farming industry required new specialist vessels. After building more than 200 boats, from small aluminium ‘voe’ boats to larger steel catamarans, the company set up a specialist boat-building department in 2016, with Ryan at the helm.

“We want to create a sustainable business that means boat-building commissions stay in Shetland,” says Ryan. “We want to keep work here, and bring in more from outside. Local is best, because the clients that are using these boats can come and meet us, and make alterations with us.”

Ryan also has more strings to his proverbial bow. While at Lerwick’s Anderson High School, he was named Shetland’s Young Traditional Fiddler of the Year, and was sent by the Shetland Arts funding body to the Hebridean Celtic Festival as a session musician. Since 2016, he’s been a member of the board at Shetland Arts, reviewing business plans and accounts for the organisation, which also manages many of the islands’ arts and culture spaces.

“I think that people in Shetland are willing to let you do the job if you can do it,” he says, when pressed on how quickly he has moved up after returning from his mechanical engineering course at Glasgow’s Strathclyde University. “It is quite an entrepreneurial area, and if you’re willing to work hard, you’ll get a job and you’ll progress.”

Full Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljBVduF9XN4