AROUND 200 modern apprenticeships are up for grabs in Inverclyde.

More than 30 firms and employers had stalls at a careers event in Greenock Town Hall which kickstarted a big recruitment drive.

Hundreds of school pupils and young people flocked to the event to find out more about the opportunities on offer.

Current apprentices were on hand to speak about their experiences and answer questions.

Kieran Hendry, 19, is in his first year of his joinery apprenticeship with CCG Scotland, contractors for the new St Ninian’s Primary School, refurbishment of Moorfoot Primary and new nursery on the site of the former Greenock Academy.

Kieran said: “I was looking for a hands on, engineering construction based apprenticeship.

“I put an application form in then I got an interview and it seemed like a good opportunity.

“I enjoy being hands on and you don’t do the same thing every day.

“There’s a good variety of work and you’re not constantly on the job and go on block release to college.

“You’re getting paid to do your trade.”

Major employers headhunting at the event included Amazon, Rolls Royce, BAE and Ferguson Marine.

David Strachan, 35, who is nearing the end of a three-year adult apprenticeship with Ferguson’s says the programme has been ‘fantastic’ for him.

He said: “I was working as a labourer, helping people out in the yard and the head of HR asked me if I wanted to do an adult apprenticeship.

“It’s been a totally life-changing experience for me to be accepted on an apprenticeship.”

David, from Port Glasgow, was previously a full-time judo professional.

He says going to college made him realise his potential.

He said: “I discovered I knew more than I thought I did.

“I’m looking forward to qualifying as a fabricator shipwright.

“I’ll be the one to release the pin at ship launches.”

The careers event was arranged by Skills Development Scotland, Developing The Young Workforce (DYW) and Inverclyde Council’s education department, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Community Development Trust.

Paula Leca, a programme executive for DYW, says there are opportunities up for grabs to suit everyone.

She told the Tele: “We have foundation apprenticeships for people who are still at school, modern apprenticeships and graduate apprenticeships.”