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Training milestone for CalMac apprentices

(25 October 2019) More than 100 Modern Apprentices (MAs) have now been welcomed aboard by ferry and harbour operator CalMac.

The milestone was passed as the latest batch of recruits were welcomed onto their first day of training at City of Glasgow College’s Riverside campus.

All CalMac’s deck, engine and retail MAs are trained by the college in an award winning industry partnership. Port and Harbour MAs are trained by ForthPorts in Grangemouth.

‘We are very proud of the fact that we try and recruit our MAs from across our area of operations, creating well paid professional employment to support our communities. Since we started our MA training programme 85% of all of the apprentices we’ve recruited live within the communities we serve,’ said CalMac’s Director of Human Resources, Christine Roberts. 

‘We now have in place a well established industry leading pipeline for producing the next generation of seafarers.’

It takes a year for the Retail apprentices to be fully trained for their role as Senior Catering Rating. For the Deck and Engine apprentices, it takes approximately 18 months to be fully trained as Navigational Watch Rating or Engine Room Watch Rating and another 18 months to become a fully qualified Able Seafarer. All MAs combine classroom study with time at sea and will qualify with appropriate SQA qualifications. 

The College’s Faculty of Nautical and STEM looks forward to working with the new recruits.

Paul Little, Principal and Chief Executive at City of Glasgow College, said:

“Our new trainees join us as our college celebrates its own special milestone; 50 years of delivering maritime and marine engineering education and training on the banks of the River Clyde. We enjoy a very successful, indeed award winning partnership with CalMac which is providing practical, real life experience and benefits for our students, as well as Scottish communities, and we look forward to this continuing and flourishing.”

When their training is complete the MAs will serve on one of CalMac’s 33 vessels, supporting 26 routes to island and remote mainland destinations. 

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. 

Picture shows: The 21 newest CalMac MAs are welcomed to City of Glasgow College at the start of their training.

craig cowbrough
cowbrough communications ltd