As part of the Scottish Government’s ‘Year of Young People’ in 2018, CalMac focused recruitment efforts on creating new opportunities for school leavers, dramatically increasing job prospects for young people up and down the west coast.

The ferry operator now employs 3 MAs across Deck, Engineering, Retail and Port Operation roles – a 130% increase in youth employment opportunities with the company since 2016.

Managing Director, Robbie Drummond said: “This is further evidence of us delivering on our promises to improve services and facilitate sustainable economic growth across our area of operations.

“As a major employer in the area we serve, it makes perfect sense to create a stream of trained operators who can move seamlessly into the business. Investment in training is investment in first class future service standards.

“These are proportionately high value jobs that will in the long term bring increased spending power into the communities we support.”

Designed in partnership with City of Glasgow College, CalMac’s Retail MA is a UK first, proposed to ensure a steady supply of trained crew able carry out the variety of stewarding tasks on board.

Also the first of its kind in the country, the company’s Port Operations qualification is being delivered by one of the UK’s leading harbour operators, Forth Ports, the first time they have partnered up to deliver a bespoke qualification for another company.

“Every young person we take on is given a first-class grounding to prepare them for a career at sea. Through a mixture of classroom and on the job training, we give them the skills they need to deliver the exacting service standards our passengers expect,” said Robbie.

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.

Along-with formal training opportunities CalMac also set up 10 school work-placements at offices across the network to give young people a taster of what working with the company is like.

Every MA who was taken on last year has now successfully moved into full time employment.