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CalMac apprenticeship scheme opens for applications

CalMac has today launched a recruitment drive to find Scotland's best seagoing apprentice candidates.

They are seeking the most dedicated and enthusiastic 17-24-year-olds from across the CalMac network who have a genuine passion for starting an exciting maritime career.

Benefits of joining the popular CalMac Modern Apprenticeship Programme include:

  • We pay for your college, travel, accommodation and cover your meals when you are away from home - no student loans required.

  • Off the job training at college.

  • Excellent salary with increments throughout your training.

  • On the job training by experienced professionals who will help you all the way.

  • Two weeks at work and two weeks off working pattern.

  • Your own personal mentor to support you with a career at sea.

  • Company pension scheme.

CalMac is a recognised leader of seagoing apprenticeships, named by the Merchant Navy Training Board as one of the top five UK companies for maritime apprentice schemes. More than 150 young people have trained through the scheme since it was set up in 2013.

Applications for the 2023 intake will open today (6th March) and a social media campaign highlighting all aspects of the programme will run across all online channels.

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. Feedback tells us that this programme is highly rewarding, and it makes great business sense - especially when those who qualify go on to become employed by the company.

There are two options within the programme - Engine Rating and Deck Rating. All apprentices will train and study at the City of Glasgow College on courses of between 18 and 20 months.

Last year, the apprentices who successfully completed the programme all transitioned into permanent roles. They are currently based on vessels across the network and are from places including Benbecula, Eriskay, Bute, and Inverclyde.

Craig MacRitchie, 18 and from Lewis, said: "I am really enjoying working on the ship, no two days are the same. There lots of various jobs to do and I am gaining knowledge everyday about the daily running and maintenance of the ship's engines.

"My plan with CalMac is to finish my apprentice and hopefully gain a fulltime job as a motorman and stay with the company for a lifelong career at sea."

Rian Campbell, 21 and from Gourock, is a deck rating apprentice. He said: "I decided to apply for the CalMac modern apprentice scheme because it was an exciting opportunity to go to sea, which is something I have always wanted to do.

"I have just finished four weeks at college and a week at Stream Marine Training where I trained in subjects such as sea survival, firefighting and first aid.

"Being at sea is a whole new career path for me as I was a trained patisserie chef at one of the top golf courses in Scotland, Trump Turnberry. But for now, I think that my future is staying with CalMac."

Alex Yallop, 23 and from Kilwinning, is also a deck apprentice. He said: "I am enjoying all the hands-on learning and support from the rest of the crew on board too. College is also good because it gives you an understanding of what to expect on board.

 "I applied because I have always had a passion for working at sea on boats and never wanted an ordinary 9-5 job and this offers exactly that doing different things each day.

 "I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to do something different working alongside other people who has a passion for boats or the communities we serve."

Tanya Mackay, 22 and from Stornoway, is a deck trainee. She said: "I'd absolutely recommend this apprenticeship with CalMac. It gives you a good work/life balance and working for CalMac comes with many benefits. The crew are very supportive and will help you throughout your training".

 Applicants can view the apprenticeships on offer and complete applications online here:

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