Six new jobs have already been created at Malakoff Ltd after opening a new site earlier this year at Greenhead Base in Lerwick.
The company has secured a grant of £120,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to support training and development of staff over the next three years.
Malakoff Ltd started out as a blacksmith and boat builder more than 100 years ago and now offers a wide range of specialist services including project management and engineering for the marine, aquaculture and energy industries.
The first boat to be built at the new Greenhead facility is due to be completed soon.
The 14-metre workboat for Cooke Aquaculture is the first large steel vessel to be built by Malakoff since 2011 and the company is confident it can attract more commissions from the local aquaculture industry and beyond.
The new fabrication facility in Warehouse No.7 at the Greenhead Base is over 80,000 square feet in size and can house up to three of this type of vessels under construction at the same time.
The company is also known for its Voe Boat range – a type of small, durable aluminium workboat that can be configured to suit almost any requirement.
With the recent expansion of the business, it is also planned to develop and market this popular range of boats internationally.
HIE’s funding for training will cover all aspects of the organisation from management and leadership to welding and marine specialist training. Malakoff has highlighted the need for an increasing number of skilled staff to better meet the growing needs of the industry.
Earlier this year, HIE approved £214,486 towards the cost of building modifications at the new facility, equipment, and staff training and development for boat building to allow Malakoff to expand.
Katrina Wiseman, head of business growth at HIE in Shetland: “Malakoff has in-depth experience of the design and construction of larger steel workboats and the early days of salmon farming in Scotland. The company has previously launched mono-hulls, multicats and catamarans, all of which were built to the highest marine standards and display exceptional durability. Investing in training and development at Malakoff will ensure there is a highly skilled, engaged and productive workforce which is essential to the growth of the business.”
Malakoff's project manager Ryan Stevenson, said: “Malakoff has had a long term aim to establish a boatbuilding department for a number of years. This is an exciting expansion for the Malakoff and is keeping with the company's heritage and experience. The new department will hopefully prove a useful asset to local boat operators and we hope that it will also generate more orders from outside of Shetland. It has been essential to have the support of HIE in developing the new workshop and we are very grateful for their continued assistance."