A group of three of CalMac’s current 19 apprentices, came together today to celebrate a year of notable milestones for the company’s training programmes.
As part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, the young students were joined at the company’s Gourock headquarters by Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan, as well as CalMac managing director Martin Dorchester, Skills Development Scotland and City of Glasgow College.
For the first time, the classroom elements of all three of CalMac’s modern apprenticeships will be delivered at a Scottish institution as part of close work with City of Glasgow College.
For the 2016-17 intake, the company’s apprenticeships on offer rose from two to three with the addition of an MA in hospitality with maritime enhancements – the first course of its kind in the UK. The other two courses are modern apprenticeships in deck and engineering.
The Merchant Navy Training Board – which recognises training programmes for professional mariners – has named CalMac as one of the top five companies in the UK for maritime apprenticeship numbers.
“It has been a real landmark year for our apprentices,” said CalMac managing director Martin Dorchester. “I am extremely proud of the young people who have come up through our apprenticeship training; they are a genuinely strong addition to our teams across the network and have been welcomed by our crews.
“Training young people is both rewarding and makes perfect business sense. I cannot praise our apprentices and the company’s learning and development staff enough for the commitment and progress they have made.
“Bringing the classroom element of the courses to Scotland for the first time has been a long-held goal of ours and I’m delighted the partnership with City of Glasgow College has successfully brought this to fruition.”
Commenting, Stuart McMillan MSP said:
“Scottish Apprenticeship Week celebrates and highlights achievements and opportunities for young people around the country, as well as recognising employers who enable the training and the benefits such commitment makes to the economy in the short and longer term.
“CalMac’s HQ is obviously based in Inverclyde and the company is a major employer in the area. Since 2013, 40 apprentices have been part of CalMac apprenticeships – 90 per cent of those who have qualified have been employed by the company.
“As part of CalMac’s winning bid to run the Clyde and Hebrides ferry service contract they are committed to increasing the numbers of Modern Apprentices they employ. That is great news for Inverclyde as this gives our young people the opportunity to work with a fantastic employer, whilst it also creates a skilled workforce who will make a vital contribution to our nation’s economy.”