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CalMac expands apprenticeship programme

Ferry operator CalMac is expanding its Modern Apprenticeship (MA) programme to include harbour operations.

The company has joined forces with Forth Ports Ltd to devise a new Port Operations MA, the first time the port owner has partnered up with another company to deliver specialist training. 

CalMac operates out of 33 harbours and slipways across the West Coast, and apprentices will learn all aspects loading, unloading and securing cargo, mooring, passenger operations and workplace transport operations.


Picture shows: CalMac is committed to training 25 Modern Apprentices this year. 

'Increasing training opportunities was a key commitment of our successful bid to continue delivering ferry services across the west coast, and I'm delighted to announce the expansion of our MA programme. These will be the next generation of staff with the key task of ensuring the safe berthing, loading and unloading of our fleet,' said CalMac's Director of HR, Christine Roberts.

'Port operators need to learn to deal with everything from fishing boats to cruise ships. This new MA will give them the ideal foundation to build a career in harbour management.' 

Over the 15-month programme of on-the-job and classroom training MAs will qualify to SVQ level 2 in Port Operations along with an additional industry qualification in Plant and Health & Safety.

Training will be carried out at ports across the CalMac network and at Forth Ports' facility in Grangemouth.

Jackie Anderson, HR Director from Forth Ports said: 'We are thrilled to be working in partnership with CalMac to deliver the Port Operations Modern Apprenticeship. We are the only approved SQA centre for Port Operations MA's in Scotland and are pleased to support the skills and development of people within the Marine and Port sector. We are investing in our training and development programme at Forth Ports and as part of this we are currently building a new training academy at the Port of Grangemouth.'

CalMac is the UK's largest ferry company and last year transported more than 5.3 million passengers and 1.4 million vehicles across 27 island and remote mainland locations.

This year CalMac will be recruiting a total of 25 MAs. Six Deck Ratings, four Engine Ratings, 10 Retail Ratings and five Port Ratings.

Applications for all posts are now open at 


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