Ferguson Marine: UK Transport Secretary Mark Harper takes helm of Ferguson Marine ferry Glen Sannox in City of Glasgow College shipping simulator
Mr Harper, who was touring City of Glasgow College’s Riverside campus on the Clyde on Friday, joked that it was "probably them having a bit of fun".
The college, which trains nearly half of the UK’s Merchant Navy officers, said the cabinet minister “certainly enjoyed experiencing our wonderful, cutting-edge shipping simulator”.
He told The Scotsman: “I was driving a ferry, trying to do my navigation, and I discovered afterwards it was the Glen Sannox, the one that isn’t operable at the moment.
"It’s a fantastic simulator, a 360 degree view, completely realistic, and they can do all sorts of clever stuff, such as with the weather.”
However, Mr Harper was rather less complimentary about the real ferry, which is still under construction, five years behind schedule and three times over budget, at the Scottish Government-owned Ferguson Marine shipyard in Port Glasgow.
He said: "I have had it drawn to my attention that it has not been an example of fantastic good government in practice.
"It's well over budget, it’s been massively delayed. I haven’t spotted anyone who thinks it's a paragon of good service delivery."
College principal and chief executive Dr Paul Little said: "Our Riverside campus is world leading and we support apprenticeship schemes for top engineering firms such as BAE Systems and work closely with the top 20 global shipping companies to train around 45 per cent of all UK Merchant Navy officers."
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