Young Skye apprentice Daniel MacIntyre, who took a hard won place with Calmac, has been helping the company show off its success in recruiting new young and skilled staff.
As part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, the 18 year od from Kilmaluag has been telling of his experiences which led him from working on board Uig fishing boats to expanding his expertise in mechanics supported by Calmac
Daniel said: “The fact that CalMac is a great company to work for, that I had a real interest in engineering and that I wanted to work at sea all made me want to apply.
“I really enjoy meeting new people and learning new things, although I do find it difficult spending lots of time away from home at the moment, but I am beginning to adapt to this.
“I have done some of my training already on board MV Finlaggan and I had great mentors – I have been learning already about safety on board a vessel, to maintain personal safety and environmental standards. I’ve also been learning how to become an engine room watchkeeper, together with various routine tasks and duties which have to be undertaken during the voyage of the ship.”
Although he is kept very busy with the course and his time at sea, when Daniel has some free time, he is usually to be found helping out on his family’s croft.
But his engineering interest is never far away: “I also enjoy working on tractors and different types of machinery, as well as going out in my boat and fishing.”
Scottish Apprenticeship Week celebrates and highlights achievements and opportunities for young people around the country, as well as recognising employers who enable the training and the benefits such commitment makes to the economy in the short and longer term. The recognition week runs from today (March 6) through to Friday (March 10).
Since 2013, 40 apprentices have been part of CalMac apprenticeships – 85 per cent of those who have qualified have been employed by the company. The schemes have grown significantly in popularity and, in 2016, for the 2016-2017 intake, around 1,200 young people applied for just 30 available positions. The Merchant Navy Training Board – which recognises training programmes for professional mariners – has named CalMac as one of the top five companies in the UK for maritime apprenticeship numbers.
It has been a year of firsts for the company:
· CalMac brings all elements of its apprenticeship training to Scotland for the first time
· The company introduces a new course – MA in hospitality with maritime enhancements – the first of its kind in the UK
· For the first time, CalMac has been named by the Merchant Navy Training Board as one of the top five companies in the UK for maritime apprenticeship numbers
“It has been a real landmark year for our apprentices,” said CalMac managing director Martin Dorchester. “I am extremely proud of the young people who have come up through our apprenticeship training; they are a genuinely strong addition to our teams across the network and have been welcomed by our crews.
“Training young people is both rewarding and makes perfect business sense. I cannot praise our apprentices and the company’s learning and development staff enough for the commitment and progress they have made.
“Bringing the classroom element of the courses to Scotland for the first time has been a long-held goal of ours and I’m delighted the partnership with City of Glasgow College has successfully brought this to fruition. The addition of our third apprenticeship and the development of the content for that course, has also benefitted from this close relationship.”