THE chief executive of Ferguson Marine insists it can find success in a ‘buoyant’ shipbuilding market and have a bright future despite the CalMac ferries fiasco.

David Tydeman has revealed that the troubled yard had received 500 applications for 15 apprenticeships this year and told the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit Committee the firm was pursuing a number of other avenues in its ongoing search for work.

He told MSPs the shipyard was hoping to play a further part in the Royal Navy’s type 26 frigates programme and that they would seek to work on CalMac’s new generation of smaller ferries.

He also said the yard had identified ’10 to 15’ years of work in the wind turbine market from 2027 that it would like to be part of.

But the comments came after the shipbuilding boss had shared the stark assessment he had made of the Port Glasgow yard when he came on board last year.

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He said:  “When I started with Ferguson Marine in February 2022, the board tasked me with three issues - restoring confidence, delivering Glen Sannox and Hull 802 and securing a future for the yard.

"It was very clear to me that the delivery dates in 2022 and 23 for the Glen Sannox and Hull 802 were not achievable and the relationships with CMAL [Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited] had broken down.

"I remain firmly of the view that management mistakes were made in the recovery from administration by FMEL in 2015/16 and by FMPG in 2019/20.

"Between them these mistakes embedded unrecoverable delays into the programmes.

“The mistakes mainly related to design management, build sequencing and contracting strategies.

"I also set out to you that the rest of the overall increase had come from pricing inflation, design and specification costs and from time-related costs, recognising that the ferry budget by the handover of Hull 802, will have covered the yard overhead costs across a 10-year programme.

"In summary, my view remains that the increases came from four almost equal parts - mistakes by FMEL, mistakes by FMPG, from the pricing and time impacts.

“We remain firmly targeted on delivering Glen Sannox before the end of this year and 802 before the end of this year.”

Mr Tydeman told MSPs that the strong performance of the UK’s shipbuilding market was cause for optimism about the yard’s future.

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He added: “I began my career in the Govan shipyards more than 40 years ago and the current UK shipbuilding market is the most buoyant I’ve ever seen.

“Demand is exceeding capacity.

“There is more than £250 million of suitable work for Ferguson over the next five years from BAE and the CMAL small ferry programme, and this combination creates a really positive opportunity for us to get back on track and be competitive.”

Mr Tydeman revealed during the session that two major operators had pledged to have a number of wind farm shops built in Scotland, which he believed would be an excellent opportunity for the yard.

He also told politicians that he hoped to secure an agreement with BAE at Govan following the completion in October of a pilot project to build units for the Royal Navy’s fleet of type 26 frigates.