A GREENOCK teenager is going global by making connections with people all over the world in his role as an apprentice with a Greenock export company.

Mark Stewart, 17, started with PG Paper last August and is now midway through a diploma in digital application support.

The former Clydeview Academy pupil says he started to think about apprenticeship schemes when he was getting to the end of his fifth year at school - and has never looked back.

Mark said: "I wasn't really interested in staying on for sixth year and university didn't really appeal to me.

"I looked at what stood out in terms of my qualifications and what I enjoyed and realised I wanted to pursue the admin side of things.

"I saw the PG Paper apprenticeship and it really caught my eye as it's a well-known local company and was offering a vocational qualification."

Mark applied for the role with the business, which exports products to customers all over the world, in the summer when he was still 16.

He was invited for interview and says that within minutes of stepping into the building, he felt like he had been there for years.

Mark added: "Everyone was so friendly and welcoming and I could tell it would be a great place to start my career."

In his role, Mark regularly speaks to PG Paper colleagues as far afield as India and Turkey and has built up good relationships with customers all over the world.

Part of the job involves packaging up samples and he says he's amazed by how much he's learned in a short space of time.

Mark added: "Before I started here, if you asked me about paper, I would immediately just think of a sheet of A4 for a printer.

"It's amazing how many different products there are.

"I'm building up an fantastic amount of knowledge and learning about new products every day."

As well as working in the Custom House Quay office, Mark is completing his level three diploma in learning sessions at home.

He says he's thankful to the Scottish Qualifications Authority and PG Paper for putting him through the course, as it's a qualification that will help him in future roles.

Mark added: "This is an amazing opportunity for me, regardless of whether I stay on with PG Paper or choose to move on after the apprenticeship.

"If I had stayed on for sixth year at school, I wouldn't have all these career opportunities ahead of me now.

"I think PG Paper taking on apprentices is a great thing for the company and for Inverclyde.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity."