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CalMac breaks new barriers with youth training opportunities

Modern Apprenticeship (MA) opportunities with ferry operator CalMac have more than doubled over the past two years.

As part of the Scottish Government's 'Year of Young People' CalMac has focused recruitment efforts on creating new opportunities for school leavers across the communities it supports.

It now employs 23 MA's across Deck, Engineering, Retail and Port Operation roles, a 130% increase in youth employment opportunities with the company since 2016. 

Modern Apprentices

Picture shows: (LtoR) Jamie Humphrys from Greenock, Kathleen MacDonald from Glasgow, Megan Macdonald from South Uist and Daniel MacIntyre from Skye are among the Deck, Engineering and Retail Modern Apprentices taken on by CalMac recently.

Managing Director, Robbie Drummond said: 

'This is further evidence of us delivering on our promises to improve services and facilitate sustainable economic growth across our area of operations. 

'As a major employer in the area we serve it makes perfect sense to create a stream of trained operators who can move seamlessly into the business. Investment in training is investment in first class future service standards. 

'These are proportionately high value jobs that will in the long term bring increased spending power into the communities we support.'

CalMac operates a fleet of 31 vessels across a network of 27 routes serving island and remote mainland communities. It is the UK's largest ferry operator. 

The majority of the increase has come from new MAs the company has set up to help improve the flow of skilled workers for the future. 

The Retail MA is a UK first and was designed in partnership with City of Glasgow College to ensure a steady supply of trained crew able carry out the variety of stewarding tasks on board. Also the first of its kind in the country, the Port Operations qualification is being delivered by one of the UK's leading harbour operators, Forth Ports, the first time they have partnered up to deliver a bespoke qualification for another company. 

'Every young person we take on is given a first class grounding to prepare them for a career at sea. Through a mixture of classroom and on the job training, we give them the skills they need to deliver the exacting service standards our passengers expect,' said Mr Drummond. 

In addition to MAs, the company sponsored 11 officer cadets over the past year bringing the total number currently in training for a career at sea to 28. 

In addition to formal training opportunities CalMac also set up 10 school work-placements at offices across the network to give young people a taster of what working with the company is like. 

Every MA taken on last year has successfully moved into full time employment with the company.


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