The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, Fiona Hyslop, paid a virtual visit to Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow) yesterday to meet its newest apprentices.
The 25 strong cohort are set to embark on the three-year course this week, across a variety of trades including fabrication, welding, mechanical engineering and technical support.
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, all shared their hopes and ambitions for their future careers with the Cabinet Secretary.
25-year-old Michael Sinclair, who started a Ferguson modern apprenticeship in 2012 in fabrication, also met the Cabinet Secretary, who congratulated him on his recent first-class honours degree.
Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, Fiona Hyslop, said: “It was great to meet the new apprentices at Fergusons and hear about their plans for the future.
“The achievements of people like Michael Sinclair show the success of these schemes and the power of learning while you earn.
Fiona Hyslop makes virtual visit to young workers at Ferguson Marine (Port Glasgow)
“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.”
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.”
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.
“After leaving school at 17, I came straight to Ferguson to start on the modern apprenticeship programme and I’ve been given the opportunity to work in almost every part of the business, from fabrication to structural draughting, while studying at the same time.
“I didn’t think I would be smart enough to complete a degree so to come out as top of the class has been incredible and I wouldn’t have been able to achieve it without the support from Ferguson.
“It was disappointing not to be able to attend a graduation ceremony this year due to Covid-19, but to have the Cabinet Secretary congratulate me was definitely a bonus.”
After completing his degree while simultaneously working full-time, Michael is now a Project Manager, responsible for the delivery of the Inverlussa workboats.