Stuart McMillan MSP outlined the success of Inverclyde’s employment figures in a debate in the Scottish Parliament today.
Latest statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions show that people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance in Greenock is at it’s lowest in over a decade. Though figures for Port Glasgow showed a slight rise for the same period last year, Mr McMillan has highlighted the importance of Ferguson Marine as a potential factor in increasing employment in Port Glasgow.
“There will be various factors for the increase but I am hopeful that the Port Glasgow figures will soon join the Greenock figures as Ferguson Marine Ltd in Port Glasgow starts to build for the future. As members will know, Ferguson Marine Ltd has been awarded the Preferred Bidder status for the £97m order for two CMAL ferries.
“When we think back to the summer of 2014 when Ferguson’s went into administration, we really have to admire the hugely ambitious plans for the yard, Port Glasgow and Inverclyde. In 1 year, Ferguson Marine Ltd have grown from a company with 7 people to 157 with 15 apprentices hired for 2015. This is only going to grow.
“With an initial £12,000,000 investment for yard expansion, the plan is to grow the yard to approximately 1300 skilled workers to 2020. This will include a total of 150 apprentices (30 per year) up to 2020.
“Just before the yard closed last year, they had one female apprentice out of 6. This was the first female apprentice employed at the yard. The new owners want more. They want both sexes to consider shipbuilding as a career choice for them.”
Stuart McMillan MSP also highlighted the role of Ferguson Marine as a Living Wage employer. He stated:
“With the exception of apprentices who begin on the living wage, Ferguson Marine are currently paying all employees well above the Living Wage.
“Management are now looking into the Living Wage Accreditation since I have brought it to their attention.
“The training that will be on offer will be first class and the re-industrialisation of the Lower Clyde is beginning.”