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26 February 2016, 13:41
A shipyard saved from closure two years ago is set to take on 150 apprentices.
The new staff at Ferguson Marine Engineering in Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, will "form the backbone of future growth'' for the firm, managing director Liam Campbell said.
The announcement marks a significant change in fortunes at the yard, which faced closure in 2014 before Clyde Blowers businessman Jim McColl took over.
Fair Work Secretary Roseanna Cunningham announced the apprenticeships on a visit to the yard to mark the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2016.
She 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 Ferguson's 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.
"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 modern apprentice 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.''
Mr Campbell said: "Apprenticeships are extremely important to us and our business, forming the backbone of our future growth.
"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.''
Since the takeover, the firm now has around £110 million of orders and has already secured 150 jobs at the site.
Scottish Apprenticeship Week - from February 29 to March 4 - is organised by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to celebrate the benefits apprenticeships bring to businesses, individuals and the economy.
Gordon McGuiness, head of enterprise and industry networks at SDS, 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.''