PORT Glasgow shipyard Ferguson Marine has chosen its 15 new apprentices, after receiving hundreds of applications.
The local young people were welcomed to the yard by apprentice co-ordinator Ross Elder who guided them through a three-day induction, including their initial walk around the shipyard environment to see where they will work and learn over the next three years.
The annual apprentice programme is part of Ferguson Marine’s ‘grown our own’ initiative and is supported by programme partner, West College Scotland. It aims to develop and maintain a sustainable skilled workforce for the business while giving back to the local community.
Year one of the course consists of theoretical work at the college which gradually leads to more time working at the yard with assigned tradesmen, followed by full-time on-the-job training in the second and third years.
Three hundred people applied, up from 270 last year.
Apprentice co-ordinator Ross Elder said: “It was great to see the interest for the industry. Passion is always a key attribute we look for; if young people show they have an eagerness to learn, we can teach and guide them to their full potential.
“It is very rewarding to work with apprentices and watch their progression in their chosen trade, becoming respected tradesmen.
“We now have 54 apprentices at the yard, which is huge for us. I was a tradesman here for five years before my current role, and from a first-hand perspective, I can see the yard is so important to the local area and its people.
“Hiring locally is such a great boost for the surrounding community. It signals a bright future for people’s careers, skillsets, and the local economy.”
The apprentices will now receive introductory training at Glasgow Training Group (GTG), where they are completing a WISE (Working in a Ship Environment) health and safety course.