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More workers have been recruited at the Ferguson Marine shipyard, as the Scottish Government shows its commitment to get the work completed on the new Arran ferry.
Economy Secretary Derek Mackay met with some of the 17 new recruits who have already started, and announced that an additional 10 vacancies are currently being advertised. In addition, 14 apprentices will complete their apprenticeships this month and will stay on as part of the workforce.
The recruitment process is under way as legal discussions continue with administrators to conclude the process of taking the Ferguson Marine shipyard into public ownership.
The new Arran ferry, the MV Glen Sannox, and her sister ship Hull 802 lie unfinished at the yard after it was put into administration by its previous owner Jim McColl after a long running dispute with Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL).
Visiting the Port Glasgow shipyard on Monday , Mr Mackay said: ‘My focus is, and has always been, on ensuring completion of the two public sector ferries at the best value for money for the taxpayer, while also working towards the delivery of the other vessels under construction at the yard, and in doing so, securing jobs for the workforce through continuity of employment.
‘Recruiting more staff to Ferguson Marine is a significant step forward in working towards completion of the two CalMac ferries, as well as achieving the best possible outcome for the yard and its employees. Visiting the yard has enabled me to meet with some of the new recruits and time-served apprentices, to hear about the work they are doing, and to assure them that we are doing all we can to ensure the future of the shipyard.
‘While we continue to work with the administrators to bring the yard into public ownership, work on the vessels is progressing, and the additional staff being recruited will play a key role in this work.
‘Establishing a revised timetable for the completion of the two ferries remains one of the main tasks for the management at the shipyard, and we will be able to update further on this in the coming weeks.
‘While there is still more to be done, our actions have ensured that there will be a future for Ferguson Marine.’
GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: ‘Public ownership secures the future of the yard and this will be welcomed by our members and their families.
‘While we are clear that there is no quick fix for Ferguson’s and that the real hard work is still in front of us, this is the right thing to do.
‘The workers at Port Glasgow are ready to serve the country. Now let’s get on with the business of building the ships that Scotland needs.’
Administrators are now in discussion with Scottish Ministers to agree final terms of a sale and expect this to be executed within the next four weeks.
Economy Secretary Derek Mackay with apprentices and workers at the Ferguson yard this week. NO_B41ferguson01