Investing in youth is a great bit of business

IT WAS a great sight to see – a crowd of shipyard apprentices lifting their hard hats for the photographer. The young people at Fergusons of Port Glasgow lifted hearts as well.

New owner Jim McColl has recruited 150 apprentices to the revamped yard, which has also secured new ferry contracts from the Scottish Government.

For the first time folk in the area can say the future’s bright without a hint of irony.

I get a bit emotional looking at the picture because my late father worked in the lower Clyde yards, including Fergusons.

But for McColl, investing in the future is a sound business decision. He has set a high bar for other employers. But he is Scotland’s most successful businessman – what better example for others to follow?

This is Scotland Apprenticeship Week 2016 and in fact there are lots of good stories to tell as well as Fergusons.

Since 2007, the number of apprenticeship starts in Scotland has doubled – an incredible achievement when you remember that this period also covers the worst economic downturn we have experienced since the 30s.

Read the rest of my article here.

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