Your hired – the apprentices helping to build the Arran ferry

Four of the new apprentices at the Ferguson yard with the MV Glen Sannox behind them. Photo Mark Gibson Digital

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Meet some of the apprentices helping to build the new Arran ferry the MV Glen Sannox.

A record number of 25 nyoung people have been given modern apprenticeships at the Scottish government owned Ferguson Marine yard at Port Glasgow.

And last week the economy and fair work secretary Fiona Hyslop makes virtual visit to yard to meet some of them set to embark on the three-year course at the yard and at college.

As part of its mission to invest in the long-term future and sustainability of the yard, Ferguson awarded a record number of 25 young people with modern apprenticeships this year across a variety of trades including fabrication, welding, mechanical engineering and technical support.

The will work on a variety of projects at the yard including the two biggest orders the lomng delaued MV Glen Sannox, due start in service on the Ardrossan to Brodick route in April 2022 and her sister ship Hull 802.

Four new apprentices were at the Port Glasgow yard to meet Fiona Hyslop via a video link. Lewis Emerson,21, Beth Atkinson,25, James McEwan,17 and Marley Weir,18 shared their hopes and ambitions for their future careers with the cabinet secretary.

Working in partnership with West College Scotland, Ferguson gives young people the opportunity to gain an academic understanding of their work in the classroom while combining it with the practical experience of one-to-one mentoring within the shipyard setting.

Ms Hyslop, commented: ‘It was great to meet the new apprentices at Fergusons and hear about their plans for the future.’

Michael Sinclair, 25, who started a Ferguson modern apprenticeship in 2012 in fabrication, also met the  cabinet secretary, who congratulated him on achieving his recent first-class honours degree. Obtained via Skills Development Scotland’s new graduate level apprenticeship at the University of the West of Scotland, Michael achieved the top grade of his year and was the first person from Inverclyde to complete the degree in engineering, design and manufacturing.

Michael said: ‘Shipbuilding has always been a dream career for me. Both my dad and my uncle worked for Ferguson so you could even say it’s in the blood.’

‘The achievements of people like Michael show the success of these schemes and the power of learning while you earn. It was a pleasure to present Michael with his degree certificate and I wish all of this year’s intake the best of luck for their careers,’ Ms Hyslop said.

Tim Hair, turnaround director at Ferguson Marine, added: ‘These are uncertain times for school leavers, so it is more important than ever before to help young people into jobs. Our apprenticeship programme not only benefits each individual enrolled but also helps secure the long-term future of the yard by creating a young team of successors capable of taking the business forward.’


Four of the new apprentices at the Ferguson yard with the MV Glen Sannox behind them. NO_B41apprentice01

Michael Sinclair,who started a Ferguson modern apprenticeship in 2012 and has now graduated, also met Ms Hyslop via the video link. NO_B41apprentice02