Jackie Baillie took some time out of the campaign trail to meet a group of Dumbarton’s newest apprentices and graduates at the Chivas plant at Kilmalid.
Jackie toured the site and spoke to some of the apprentices about how they managed to combine studying towards SVQ qualifications with on-the-job training. She also met the first young people to join Chivas’s new graduate scheme which started in 2015. The company’s Product Development team took on 5 graduates last year and they expect to recruit a further 4 graduates for Manufacturing and Distilling in the 2016 intake.
As Honorary President of Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club, Jackie also thanked staff for their extraordinary fundraising efforts. The staff at Chivas are taking part in a challenge to procure items for the charity which provides opportunities for local young people with disabilities and additional support needs to try out new sports. The fundraising activity is still ongoing but is expected that Chivas could raise around £3000 for DDSC.
“Dumbarton has strong links with the whisky industry so I was delighted to see that our proud heritage will be kept alive by a new generation of young people being trained at Chivas. The apprentices and graduates at Chivas are being offered a valuable opportunity to learn new skills and start off their career in a company which is recognised across the world.
“There is no better investment Scotland can make in developing opportunities for our young people than investing in skills and training. I am determined to ensure that the route to a good job is open to every young person in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, but to do that we need to invest more in apprenticeships and opportunities for graduates.”
Commenting on the fundraising success, Jackie added:
“Many local families would not be able to take their children to sports classes without the help of Dunbartonshire Disability Sports Club. The club is entirely run by volunteers, many of them parents themselves, and we depend on the generosity of local people who keep the club going with their donations. The whole staff team at Chivas deserve praise for their incredible fundraising efforts over the past two years and I am hugely grateful for their support.”