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Roughly 60 apprentices caught up in Michelin Dundee closure decision

Around 60 apprentices have been caught up in Michelin’s decision to close its Dundee factory.

The trainees – who are at various stages in their four-year apprenticeship programme – are affiliated to the Michelin Training and Information Centre which operates from a standalone unit on the Baldovie site.

Staff leave Michelin Dundee after the closure announcement.

Around 40 of the current Modern Apprenticeship crop are directly affiliated to Michelin.

In normal circumstances those apprentices – who specialise in areas such as mechanical or electrical engineering – would expect to be taken on full-time with the company at the end of their four-year training programme.

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The remaining group of trainees are employed by outside companies and have been placed with Michelin for the purpose of completing their apprentice training.

The latest Dundee apprentice cohort started their training in August when they were symbolically kitted out with their ‘Michelin greens’.

The group included 13 new apprentices, seven of whom were Michelin affiliated and six from third party partners.

College principal Grant Ritchie.

Grant Ritchie, the principal of Dundee and Angus College, said it was vital the apprentices were able to complete their training.

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He said the college was due to meet with Michelin next week to find out how it could help on a practical level.

But he stressed the doors were open to the apprentices and the hundreds of other redundancy threatened Michelin workers who were now contemplating retraining and reskilling.

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“Myself and a couple of our people are going to see Michelin next Wednesday to see what we can do to support the workforce,” Mr Ritchie said.

“Some of the apprentices will be able to see their time out at Michelin over the next 18 months or so but there are others who just started in August.

“We can use our networks to try to place them with other engineering companies who tend to rally around at times like this.

“And if someone wants to come in full-time on an HNC or HND programme then that is fine, we can organise that and make that happen.”

Mr Ritchie said the college had already had initial discussions with central funders to identify the financial resources to ensure a useful response to the crisis.

He also said the college was ready and willing to explore options for reskilling and retraining Michelin’s administrative support staff.

He added: “There is obviously a lot of people here but if people want to retrain and do other things then our doors are open.”

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