A GRADUATE from Port Glasgow is among the first intake of hospitality apprentices with Gourock-based ferry operator CalMac.

Lucy McNee, pictured fifth from left, has completed a year-long training course and is now preparing for a full-time job on board one of the company’s vessels.

She is one of nine graduates from the company’s new hospitality modern apprenticeship, which was launched in partnership with City of Glasgow College.

The course involved classroom learning mixed with time spent training on board some of CalMac’s 32-strong fleet.
Students are now all qualified in hospitality, maritime studies and elementary food hygiene.

Newly-qualified Lucy said: “A modern apprenticeship gives the best of both worlds, on the job training and college qualifications, that’s what attracted me to it.

“It’s a great first step towards building a long career and CalMac is a great company to start with.”

The graduates were welcomed by managing director Martin Dorchester.

He said: “Although many elements of the hospitality industry, like good customer service, are the same whether on land or afloat our stewards need to do more than just look after our passengers’ comfort.

“They need to be trained in fire-fighting, first aid, rescue boat operations and other tasks vital for keeping passengers safe.

“This new MA, the first of its kind in the UK, now ensures our crews get the best, most relevant training that’s available, we know this because we helped design the course.”