P&O workers left jobless by their employer have been urged to apply for positions with Caledonian MacBrayne.

CalMac's managing director Robbie Drummond said in a statement he was "shocked" by the news 800 seafarers had been thrown out by P&O yesterday without notice.  

And he invited them to come and work for him instead.

He said: "We at CalMac were shocked and saddened to hear about the redundancies at P&O Ferries. This is an awful situation for our many ferry industry colleagues.

"We have vacancies currently available, including a number of deck ratings and seaman pursers required to start in April, and would encourage anyone affected to apply as soon as possible."

There are currently 16 deck ratings vacancies and one spot for a seaman purser.

P&O operates the route between Cairnryan and Larne in Northern Ireland. 

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It emerged today the UK Government knew about the firm's plans to sack hundreds of its staff the day before employees were told over a video message.

The company is expected to halve crewing costs by replacing 800 seafarers with agency workers.

According to Boris Johnson’s official spokesman, some officials in the Department for Transport were told of the plan on Wednesday night. 

Demonstrations have been held at UK ports throughout today and there are plans for protests outside the Tory party's spring conference in Blackpool tomorrow. 

For more information about CalMac's vacancies visit https://www.calmac.co.uk/article/8504/Ref-809-SG-Seaman-Purser or https://www.calmac.co.uk/article/8671/Ref-806-SG-Deck-Ratings