Cabinet Secretary launches Scottish apprenticeship week 2016.
A Clyde shipyard which was saved from closure two years ago is set to take on 150 new apprentices.
The jobs boost from Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited marks the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2016.
The announcement was made by Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work and the 150 new apprentices will form part of the overall growth strategy of the Inverclyde-based company which is renowned for its shipbuilding and for delivering engineering services across a range of industry sectors.
Ms Cunningham said:
"Employing modern apprentices is helping to create a dynamic and experienced workforce to help Scotland's industries thrive.
"This announcement of 150 new apprentices at the Fergusons shipyard on the Clyde is great news not only for Ferguson Marine, and the young people that will benefit, but also for Scotland as a whole.
"The announcement kicks off a week-long of events and engagements that will showcase the positive impact apprenticeships have on businesses and industry, and the value they bring to employers and to their job prospects.
"Modern Apprentices are key to delivering economic development and essential in providing our young people with opportunities to develop skills and gain employment.
"Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2016 is an excellent opportunity to draw attention to the value that apprenticeships could bring to employers, and help support young people into sustainable and rewarding careers.
"Since this Government came into office in 2007 more than 190,000 MA starts have been delivered and this Government is committed to supporting young people towards jobs and apprenticeships, with an aim to have 30,000 new opportunities each year by 2020.
Ferguson Marine Managing Director, Liam Campbell, said:
"Apprenticeships are extremely important to us and our business, forming the backbone of our future growth.
"At Ferguson Marine Engineering ltd, we promote an environment that encourages all individuals to develop a firm 'can do' attitude. We encourage growth of all employees through innovation and learning.
"We are a company experiencing rapid growth and change that will ensure our position as a leading European fabricator in offshore, subsea, renewables and shipbuilding."
Louise Larkin, a current Ferguson Marine apprentice, said:
"I am proud to be a female Engineering apprentice.
"It is refreshing to be treated the same as the guys and I would like to encourage more girls to go for a career in engineering, especially when it is such an exciting time for Ferguson Marine and the Inverclyde."
Scottish Apprenticeship Week – from 29 February to 4 March – is organised by Skills Development Scotland to celebrate the benefits apprenticeship bring to businesses, individuals and the economy.
Skills Development Scotland, Head of Enterprise and Industry Networks, Gordon McGuiness, said:
"Ferguson Marine is a fantastic example of a company investing in their workforce through Modern Apprenticeships.
"This is a significant commitment to the future of the company and to the future of the apprentices who will learn valuable skills that will last them a lifetime."
Ferguson Marine, which was taken over by Clyde Blowers Capital in 2014, now has around £110 million worth of orders and has already secured 150 jobs at the site.
Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2016, organised by Skills Development Scotland, is an excellent opportunity to draw attention to the value that apprenticeships could bring to employers, and help encourage them to offer these rewarding opportunities to young people across Scotland
Modern Apprenticeships form a significant part of our work to address youth employment and the latest figures show that over the past four years, the Scottish Government has supported more than 101,000 Modern Apprenticeship starts – exceeding our ambitious target to deliver 25,000 MA opportunities in each year of the current Parliament.
In total since this Government came into office in 2007 more than 190,000 MA starts have been delivered.
In 2007 there were just 15,000 people starting Modern Apprenticeships. We are now delivering more than 25,000 MAs each year (25,247 in 2014/15) and will increase the numbers to 30,000 by 2020
SAW 2016 is a great opportunity to draw attention to the value that MAs could bring to employers and the world of business.