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First Port Assistants embark on Modern Apprenticeship voyage

The first intake of ferry operator CalMac's new Port Operations Modern Apprenticeship has cast off on their training voyage. 

The company has joined forces with Forth Ports Limited to deliver the Modern Apprenticeship to a group of five trainee Port and Harbour Assistants, the first of its kind in the country. 

CalMac manages 27 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.

'Providing training opportunities for young people in the communities we support is a key commitment within our operating plan, and I'm delighted to welcome these five new trainees to the company, Expanding our existing MA programme into port operations will ensure we have the right people in place for the future in what is a vital area of service delivery,' said CalMac's Managing Director, Robbie Drummond. 

'This new MA is the solid foundation for building a long term 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' new Skills and Business Centre in Grangemouth.

Jackie Anderson, Group HR Director for Forth Ports said: "It's great to be working with CalMac to deliver the new MA course for their next generation of port workers. The trainees receive first class training and mentoring whilst gaining a professional qualification through tailored learning and development. Our new state of the art Skills and Business Centre in Grangemouth opens this month and we are looking forward to welcoming trainees as they undertake their MA with us." 
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.

An industry leader in training provision, this year CalMac has recruited a total of 25 MAs: six Deck Ratings, four Engine Ratings, 10 Retail Ratings and five Port Assistants.

new MAs

Picture shows: (LtoR) Apprentices Calum Robertson (Armadale), Daniel Smith (Port Ellen), Adam Smith (Wemyss Bay/Largs) Ryan Bell (Brodick) and Duncan Turner (Oban) join Robbie Drummond Managing Director, CalMac Ferries (third from left) and Stuart Wallace, Chief Operating Officer, Forth Ports at the launch of the new MA.

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