CalMac have received recognition for their innovative Modern Apprenticeship partnership with City of Glasgow College.

The partnership picked up the top prize in the Training & Employee Retention category at the CIS Excellence Awards.

CalMac and City of Glasgow College created a 'Maritime Hospitality' Modern Apprenticeship in 2016, the first in the UK, after recognising that there was no formal training path for retail crew to get started in the industry.

Now in its fourth year, the programme has trained and retained 35 crew from across the company’s communities.

Trainees follow a 12 month long programme, where they learn every aspect of the hospitality industry from customer care, to food hygiene and licensing law as well as the duties required to safely sail the vessel such as passenger evacuation and fire fighting.

The Excellence Awards recognise creativity, innovation and excellence in the Scottish hospitality, catering and tourism sectors. This category specifically rewards companies who prioritise the training, engagement and retention of staff, and who regard continuous professional development as the mainstay of a successful business.

CalMac’s Director of Human Resources, Christine Roberts, stated: "Our partnership with City of Glasgow College continues to go from strength to strength producing a pipeline of recruits keen to spend a long career with the company. This award is recognition of the value we place on our staff. CalMac is all about providing first class customer service and I’m delighted that the efforts we make to ensure staff are continuously developed to ensure our high standards are maintained has been rewarded."

Gordon McIntyre, Associate Dean for Hospitality and Tourism at City of Glasgow College, said: "The team who deliver the programme, supporting CalMac, really deserve recognition, travelling miles both on land and sea to carry out assessments on CalMac ferries. It is a team I am proud of, preparing so many young people for their future in a really exciting industry."

Picture shows: CalMac and City of Glasgow College staff collect their award