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28/09/2015

Ferry operator takes the Scottish Business Pledge

Martin Dorchester

CalMac Ferries operator David MacBrayne Ltd is the first transport group in the country to sign up for the government's Scottish Business Pledge.

The Pledge reinforces the ferry operator's commitment to fairness, innovation, opportunity and equality and involves fulfilling a nine point action plan. It comes hard on the heels of the company being the UK's first ferry operator to offer the living wage.

"Unequivocal commitment to no zero hour contracts, the living wage, industry leading investment in skills and training, including more modern apprenticeships, and building closer relationships with communities we serve are what sets David MacBrayne apart from other transport operators," said the company's chief executive, Martin Dorchester.

"This pledge helps us set in stone these commitments to both our employees and our customers."

CalMac has been serving the the west coast of Scotland for more than 160 years, providing services to 24 islands and a number of mainland destinations, last year carrying more than 4.6 million passengers.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney congratulated the company on becoming the first transport operator to take the pledge

Mr Swinney, said: "I would like to thank David MacBrayne for making the Scottish Business Pledge and to welcome it to a growing network of progressive, forward-thinking businesses.

"The Pledge gives companies across Scotland, be they multinationals with a staff of hundreds or small to medium-sized enterprises with fewer employees, the chance to express a common belief in pursuing economic growth that is inclusive and to show that first-class business performance and fairness are two sides of the same coin."

Although acknowledged as an industry leader in training, innovation and staff terms and conditions Mr Dorchester said that work still had to be done in some areas.

"This is not a charter, it is a pledge and I'd be the first to admit we still have work do to in areas such as gender balance. Given the nature of the industry this is a challenge but one we are committed to addressing over the long term," he added.

CalMac is currently UK National Transport Awards ferry operator of the year.

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