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Modern apprentices set sail with CalMac

A fleet of young people are starting their maritime career on the CalMac Modern Apprenticeship Programme.

A total of 20 people from across the ferry network successfully applied for the sought-after scheme and are currently training at college in Glasgow. They will soon move onto the fleet's major vessels for the practical part of their course.

The scheme is designed to help young people who are passionate about the maritime sector gain essential qualifications and the experience necessary for a successful career within the sector, and most importantly with CalMac.

This year's intake includes people from places such as Stornoway, Benbecula, North Uist, Greenock and Rothesay. Daniel Baxter, from Largs, said: "My grandpa was a skipper for CalMac - my family say that he would be proud of me. I am looking forward to getting out onto the boats, that will be the most exciting part, getting that experience. I was obsessed with ferries when I was younger, and I haven't lost that interest in them."

Tanya Mackay, from Stornoway, added: "Having spoken to those working for CalMac and that have gone through the apprenticeship, they've always been positive and enthusiastic about their jobs. I am looking forward to learning new skills and doing a job that is varied each day. I like the idea of working for two weeks and then being back home for two weeks, and this gives me the chance to stay on the Isle of Lewis and not move away."

Upon completion of the programme, apprentices will have an opportunity to transition into permanent roles as Seaman 1b's, the Engine Rating Trainees into permanent roles as Motormen, and the Retail Rating Trainees into permanent roles as Senior Catering Ratings. They will then be based on vessels across the network.

There are three options within the programme - Engine Deck Rating, Retail and Catering, and Deck Rating. All apprentices will train and study at the City of Glasgow College on courses of between 12 and 16 months.

Wendy McAnerney, Learning and Development Manager for CalMac, said: "Welcome aboard to our 2022 intake of apprentices, and we wish them all the very best during their time with CalMac. They will gain valuable work experience, working alongside highly skilled crew members, which will set them up for a career at sea. The programme is a great career development opportunity for young people from our localities, as it also provides new jobs and supports the local economy."

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