The Clyde is the UK's shipbuilding centre (Photo: maps.live.com))
Scottish shipbuilding goes back to the future
New initiative to attract recruits into shipbuilding...
Scottish Enterprise has launched a three-year campaign to boost the number of new recruits entering the shipbuilding and engineering industry in Scotland.
The economic development organisation is bidding to attract more than 1000 people to work on the £3.9 billion Royal Navy Future Aircraft Carrier project. The contract, which is to build two new aircraft carriers, will see Scottish engineers construct the largest ships to ever enter service with the Royal Navy; HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
According to official government statistics, the UK shipbuilding industry in 2006 employed 23,500 people, 23 per cent (5400) of which are employed in Scotland.
The campaign aims to help boost both the existing workforce and to replace those retiring from it - while at the same time seeking to encourage more people into engineering at all levels of expertise. Engineers will continue to be required for many Scottish industries in the future and the training provided by shipbuilding is considered a strong foundation.
Scotland is the acknowledged centre of excellence for complex warship construction and repair, building for both the domestic and export markets in the yards. Most of the potential jobs, with employers such as BVT Surface Fleet and Babcock Marine, will be on the Clyde and at Rosyth.
The £525,000 marketing and social media campaign includes a new website, radio adverts and promotions, online social networking and schools packs.
Jim Mather, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, said: “Scotland is a significant player in the shipbuilding and marine industry and this campaign will drive the development of a new skilled workforce capable of serving the future needs of the industry in Scotland. Along with the extended contracts that we have seen with the Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers, this campaign will build on the current quality and expertise that the Scottish shipyards hold.
“In the current economic climate, campaigns such as this demonstrate Scotland’s determination to continue expanding our role in the market. Scotland will not simply sit back and wait for things to get better, and this is a key example of innovative marketing to broaden our businesses, grow our industries and most importantly, create more jobs in Scotland.”
Ian McMahon, head of the Aerospace, Defence and Marine team at Scottish Enterprise
said: “The shipbuilding industry is a growing and vibrant business, which is welcome news in what is currently a climate of economic uncertainty.
“However, we need to ensure that we retain the vital skills that make Scotland the leading centre for high-technology warship construction and repair and it is through initiatives such as ‘The Future is Ship-Shape’ campaign that we aim to do so. It is now that we must take steps to sustain our industry for the future. It’s a great example of industry and government working together to secure and grow an important trade for Scotland - and to create a workforce able to serve the engineering industry in the long term.
“With the Future Aircraft Carrier project on the immediate horizon and more ships in the pipeline, ship building yards are gearing up for the future. There has never been a better time to launch a campaign to recruit and train engineers to meet the demands that this will bring.”
John Howie, managing director – Warships, Babcock Marine, said: “We are delighted to support this initiative which raises the profile of engineering in Scotland. We hope that the significant investment being made will encourage a greater understanding on all aspects of engineering, supporting organisations like Babcock, who wish to attract Scotland’s brightest talent into what is already an exciting and innovative industry.”
Jim McHarg, head of Employee Development at BVT Surface Fleet, said: "Clyde built has the reputation for being the best in the world and BVT is committed to ensuring that more people have the opportunity to develop their skills and learn a trade as part of this industry.
"As a business we are currently working on some of the most advanced ships in the world and the Aircraft Carriers will give us the opportunity to play our part in building the largest ships to ever enter service with the Royal Navy, so there are some very exciting times ahead.
"BVT is delighted to support this Scottish Enterprise initiative and I hope that it will encourage more people to consider a career in our industry."