Scotland has become the central hub for constructing all major surface ships of the Royal Navy, highlighted during a ministerial visit that emphasised the vital role of apprentices in advancing British shipbuilding.

The Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge MP, toured facilities in Govan and Rosyth, observing the construction of  HMS Cardiff, HMS Glasgow, HMS Venturer, and HMS Active.

During his visits, Cartlidge met with workers and over 180 apprentices, witnessing the progression of the Type 26 frigates in Govan and Scotstoun, and inspecting the Type 31 frigates at Rosyth.

Babcock, under CEO David Lockwood, is set to recruit over 500 apprentices during the construction phase, with more than 180 apprentices and 3,500 employees already working at their Scottish sites. Additionally, Babcock has invested £35 million in the new digitally enabled Venturer Building at Rosyth, designed to enhance productivity by allowing parallel construction of two Type 31 frigates.

BAE Systems is also making significant investments, with 600 apprentices and graduates employed in Glasgow, and plans to recruit nearly 2,700 more across the UK by 2024. The construction of a new £12 million Applied Shipbuilding Academy at their Scotstoun shipyard is part of a broader £300 million investment aimed at enhancing skills and adopting new technologies.

David Lockwood emphasised the strategic role of apprenticeships in sustaining the UK’s defence capabilities. “Apprenticeships are vital in ensuring the technical skills necessary for our ongoing national defence programmes and offer exciting prospects with substantial community benefits,” he stated.

Simon Lister, Managing Director of Naval Ships at BAE Systems, highlighted the long-term benefits of training apprentices. “We are proud to equip our apprentices with the skills needed for long and rewarding careers in shipbuilding. They are the future, poised to build Royal Navy ships for decades,” Lister remarked.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jon
Jon (@guest_816179)
23 days ago

But only if they remain part of the UK, should be returned to home soil if independence is voted for, we cannot rely on the EU when it comes to defence, as proven by their recent comments?!!!!

George Amery
George Amery (@guest_816182)
23 days ago

Hi folks hope all is well. Well that is good news, and very encouraging to see major efforts to provide apprenticeships in such a professional skilful trade However, I do have an issue with the SNP keep banging on about lack of investment in Scotland, what on earth are they going on about? Also I’m becoming concerned with a Labour government, may cut the defence budget, thus a cut in the numbers of ships being built. Hopefully I’m wrong on this aspect given the Labour statement of increased defense budget “when possible” which is quite vague and a cop-out to… Read more »

Something Different
Something Different (@guest_816185)
23 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

For the first time in a generation increasing defence expenditure seems to be a vote winner. Labour are trying to more strongly emphasise their patriotic credentials compared to their previous leadership. Also, remember it was the tories who cut fixed wing carrier capability, the harriers and nimrod while (allegedly) cosying up to the oligarchs as their money flowed into London.

For balance I’m not saying Labour under Blair/Brown were perfect on defence, look at the shortage of equipment during the various campaigns in the Middle East.

Markam
Markam (@guest_816188)
23 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

SNP will say it is everyone elses fault except their own. They also have their own budget which is much more than their contribution. Perhaps if they stop wasting money on useless vote buying policies and invest in business, they could outgrow the rest of the UK and help their independence case. I am hopeful the SNP will be given the boot in new elections and Scotland can be a proper partner in the UK project. A bigger UK wide defense budget is going to benefit Scotland and if independence rumblings happens Scotland will lose out massively on projects they… Read more »

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_816210)
23 days ago
Reply to  Markam

I will get jumped on for this but Indy is as good as dead for at least the next two or three parliaments or at least until the Tories get back in and even then , the Nats have big mountain to climb to get back to where they are. People have seen behind the curtain and the blame everything on Westminster is no longer as effective. The Nats may publicly claim they dislike the Tories with a passion but in private the do everything they can to ensure a Tory government and to a certain extent visa versa. Independence… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_816244)
23 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Why would you get jumped on ? It’s just the simple unvarnished truth Salmond, Sturgeon and Hamza have pretty well destroyed any faith in the SNP.
I think the most recent utterances are the most revealing “if you want to destroy the Tories, vote SNP”, it’s just Big Bad Wolf Politics.
John Sweeney pretty well summed it up last week, pretty well give up of independence any time soon we need to actually run a country.
My prediction is that Labour will slaughter the SNP in the GE in fa T they may end up as 3rd party.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_816255)
23 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Clearly you have not had many “conversation” with Scottish nationalist.
When I cast my vote in any election my decision is always tactical and I suspect many Scot’s are the same,

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_816332)
22 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Fortunately not 😉 as my family are 100% for the Union and pretty well avoid discussing Politics outside of my friends and family.
I reckon that comment regarding the Tories was aimed at some tactical voters, but I suspect that the SNP will get a shock. Quite how JS is going to govern unless he sucks back up to the Greens is beyond me.
Roll on the GE !

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_816368)
22 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I am the same , Holyrood was designed to be a Parliament of consensus. With cross party agreement. Salmond managed it. Unfortunately for Swinney, his long period as Sturgeon right hand man , will not serve him well. The other parties simply do not trust him. They got bitten by Sturgeon arrogance and duplicity too many times. As much as the Green may think they have the whip hand, they don’t because they rely heavily on SNP second votes being cast for them. If they are seen to betray the SNP they will pay a heavy price at the ballot… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_816305)
22 days ago
Reply to  Markam

Ironic that the SNP rejected Kate Forbes, who you could argue is more representative of true Scottish ( post reformation) identity. The SNP has been for years ( like the Tories in England, Netanyahu in Israel, Hamas in Gaza..….) an example of what the bible calls a ‘false prophet’; leading the people into the weeds and more obsessed with themselves than caring for the people they were elected to serve.

thomas g mccormick
thomas g mccormick (@guest_816821)
19 days ago
Reply to  Markam

Under the SNP average salaries are higher than the rest of the U.K. Our public services are far superior to the South.

We welcome investment and have more than anywhere other than London.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_816206)
23 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

I will undoubtably get jumped on by the Nationalist but although the wish of independence remains high most pragmatic Scot’s realise it is a massive gamble with a very uncertain future. The SNP are in a downward spiral with no sign of it flattening out. They are on course to lose a lot of MPs in the GE and the SE is going to be a fight to the death with very little they can campaign on. I would not say the end of the SNP is in sight, I would not say it is the beginning of the end,… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10 (@guest_816228)
23 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Independence or not the UK will not move its warship building out of Scotland and it will need to amend the ground rules. As for the Scottish yards, it’s all theirs to succeed or ruin and in theory, can’t blame the Boody English……though I am sure they will have a go.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_816232)
23 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

MoD procurement rules clearly state that Warships are not built in foreign countries. Should independence happen, warship construction will shift, south of the Border.
Just because Nicola said it wouldn’t happen. Doesn’t mean it is a fact.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_816245)
23 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Yep it will be interesting to see what happens, it woukd be insane to just shutdown on the spot but new orders will not be placed in Scotland.
They would need to open new yards but I’m sure a hell of a lot of the workforce woukd relocate.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_816251)
23 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

There would incentives to relocate.

Question is where?

Where has the space to build a frigate factory – it needs a big piece of land and gas to be somewhere the housing costs are not too crazy.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_816269)
23 days ago

There is plenty of space. Their current new frigate factory is on a scrap of land (or was it water). They don’t need to launch them nowadays they can take them away on barges. Let’s face it wouldn’t be the first time an industry has moved out of Scotland and the workers followed.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_816270)
23 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Scrap of land in a huge historical dockyard.

It is all the things like – a car park for 1000’s of public transport, storage, plate line, fabrication, block shop and build hall.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_816295)
22 days ago

Yes. Much to be moved and probably modernised. The new build halls have allowed for modernisation perhap the rest of the supply chain would benefit from the same. Clearly there are costs, building or transferring skills, etc. but there are benefits potentially as well. We cannot continue with a situation where it takes decades to build ships.😀

RB
RB (@guest_816294)
22 days ago

It won’t be cheap, but Birkenhead, Belfast and maybe the Tyne all have the potential to regenerate a surface warship construction capability. Whilst H&W Appledore in Devon can still build sections, or whole warships up to large OPV size.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_816335)
22 days ago

You need land, preferably with some Drydocks nearby and deep water so it’s one of the Big River Estuary’s. I’d struggle to think of anywhere on Merseyside due to all the development, same with Tyneside and it rather blotted its copy book with the Swan Hunter Fiasco.
So IMHO it would be Teeside, A&P and the area on the South bank is available, there’s also Able at Port Seaton or East side of Hartlepool.

maurice10
maurice10 (@guest_816281)
23 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

To Michael & ABC, I have a hunch the Scottish people are not for SNP come what may but whomever can deliver independence. The political personalities thus far in recent years have done little to encourage loyalty but the same can be said about the UK Government. What is becoming increasingly tangible is the popularity for the concept of true self-government free of outside influences and laws. That being the case, we may see self-rule sooner than you might think, hence my prediction that the Naval business will remain regardless. What is not viable is to withdraw an industry south… Read more »

Apoplectix
Apoplectix (@guest_816278)
23 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

I’m certain that if push came to shove Babcock and BAE would say look its impossible to move staff and facilities out of Scotland now. And the British government would pretend to kick up a fuss and then cave.

GR
GR (@guest_816284)
23 days ago
Reply to  Apoplectix

I think more likely is the British government would have their ships built in a foreign country other than Scotland. There is no point in paying a premium to have Royal navy ships built in Scotland when they could be built more cheaply in South Korea or Italy.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_816293)
22 days ago
Reply to  Apoplectix

It is a moot point because Independence is unlikely to happen anytime soon eg at least in the next generation if ever.
However the rule about not being built in foreign countries is there for a reason.
For example China has tried several times to get the design specs on the type 26. Hull, propulsion system. Sonar etc, you cannot give foreign nationals DV clearance , which is required for access to the most sensitive system on the 26. Or give a foreign company list x clearance,

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_816271)
23 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Unless you are suggesting that the yards and bases remain UK sovereign territory (which is possible) I can’t see the rules changing. Those rules exist for a reason. The issue is that independance is not going to be a remote possibility. Labour are not going to want the distraction anymore than anyone else. Scots need to use their devolved powers choosing their politicians by their capabilities not obsessing over independence and all will be well. I’m guessing that allowing for voting, transition and implementation the earliest you could possibly have independence is probably around 2045-2050. By that time Russia &… Read more »

Last edited 23 days ago by Mark B
Marked
Marked (@guest_816316)
22 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Of course they will have to be moved. It’s policy that warships are not built in a foreign country. It would be political suicide for a UK government to change that.

maurice10
maurice10 (@guest_816388)
22 days ago
Reply to  Marked

What may occur is the main structure and electronic suites are installed in Scotland but more sensitive equipment is fitted in naval yards in England. The cost of re-establishing the current yards in England would be huge and illogical.

Marked
Marked (@guest_816399)
22 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Can’t see it happening, there would be hell on over billions of pounds of taxpayer money going abroad. It would be political firepower for any opposition that would be a vote loser.

Steve R
Steve R (@guest_816287)
23 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

Pretty sure SNP will be all but dead come the General Election.

I think Labour will win overall in the UK but especially in Scotland, taking the majority in Scotland from the SNP.

maurice10
maurice10 (@guest_816390)
22 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Wishful thinking!

Bruce Morland
Bruce Morland (@guest_816307)
22 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

Trying to win votes in Scotland won’t work. Too little too late. Bring on independence 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Gary
Gary (@guest_816664)
21 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

As opposed to what? A tory government that has made a commitment to increase the military budget to £85billion in the full knowledge that they will never have to make good the promise.
The very idea that the torys are the guardians of british industry is verging on delusional.

DB
DB (@guest_816187)
23 days ago

Polliie being a pollie with smoke and mirrors.

…major surface ships…

Now, tell me the money being spent on ALL ships/boats in Barrow and the amount spent in Scotland.

And the winner is…?

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_816199)
23 days ago
Reply to  DB

A submarine is not a surface ship, its a submarine

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_816202)
23 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

A submarine eliminating their surface ships or providing a massive deterrent to war in the first place seems quite important to me.

DB
DB (@guest_816203)
23 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Has tiffie just passed over your head at low altitude because there was deffo deafening whoosh of something going over your head.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_816209)
23 days ago
Reply to  DB

If there was a joke there, it wasn’t funny.

DB
DB (@guest_816217)
23 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Whoosh… another tiffie?

DH
DH (@guest_816525)
21 days ago
Reply to  DB

Or.. “depth 30mtrs sir. Right, vent tubes.” phrrrrrt.

terence patrick hewett
terence patrick hewett (@guest_816204)
23 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

😀

DH
DH (@guest_816523)
21 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Heh heh, no flies on you son. 🙄.
😂🕳️🙃

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_816246)
23 days ago
Reply to  DB

It’s not so simple as the supply chains are all over the place and very integrated but I’d guess if it’s just the value at the 4 yards then Scotland at present.
If you add the supply chains and the future SSN(A) then England by a mile.

DB
DB (@guest_816264)
23 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Thank you Rodders for your erudite understanding. We also need to lob in your own products being manufactured now for the bombers.

Throw in future SSN and AUKUS and Barrow is out there by a country mile.

Hugo, are you catching on yet?

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_816205)
23 days ago

Whilst it is good that significant warships are being built I’m not sure that it is either beneficial or wise to differentiate between ships they are all essential. Indeed it might be wise to increase production elsewhere. Having all your eggs in one basket is not necessarily a great idea.

Mike Barrett
Mike Barrett (@guest_816216)
23 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

A submarine is a boat, not a ship! Ships never become boats, even as they sinking. Hence the phrase is: ‘loose lips sink ships!’ ( not boats).

DB
DB (@guest_816218)
23 days ago
Reply to  Mike Barrett

Really? Oh, school day, who knew?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_816252)
23 days ago
Reply to  DB

Sarcasm on a Sunday shame on you 😉

DB
DB (@guest_816452)
22 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Hi Rodders, I can’t stop thinking you are 6″5′ and you’ve a brother called Del.

Hope you’re having a great Bank Holiday.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_816266)
23 days ago
Reply to  Mike Barrett

😂Now you are just being pedantic 😂

DH
DH (@guest_816529)
21 days ago
Reply to  Mike Barrett

Really…. Never heard of submarines called ‘loose lips’, goesunderboats yes occasionally. Notify the Admiralty, chop chop, there’s a good lad.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_816250)
23 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

15 years ago we were down to just Govan / Scotstoun and Barrow / Appledore. Now we are heading towards 3 centres of excellence, surface Warships in Scotland, SSN/SSBN at Barrow and anything larger at H&W plus sub assembles at CL, A&P, Fergusons and Appledore.
I think we have our Nest of Eggs at just the right size for it to be sustainable given present planned workload.

DB
DB (@guest_816265)
23 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Now, we need the workflow to sustain the yards which, in part, can only come from an improved economy.

And, I am genuinely worried about a Labour victory, not in the way that Daniele extrapolated in earlier posts but, the bit where everyone and their donkeys needed BA (Ed) to work in nurseries and no, seemingly, real plan to really kibosh the NHS cash sinkhole; Defence will be starved of funds.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_816267)
23 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Yes well that put me in mind of a theory about the extinction of the dinosaurs. ie. that the small mammals used to nip out with their ready born families and eat the eggs of the dinosaurs. I suspect drones will be made in garden sheds in mansfield and other places around the country at an exponential rate making many of the warships redundant and outgunned.😂

Expat
Expat (@guest_816557)
21 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I don’t particularly like saying politiicians have done anything good but 2 things I think we have got right, build a competive ship building industry, for a change the government actually listened (mostly) to what was writte in a report it commissioned (John Parker report). And the Carrier program, we now have 2 5th gen capable carriers. Both these are down to Tories and Labour tbh.

Shoozeoff
Shoozeoff (@guest_816243)
23 days ago

Do we not have the capability to build ships south of the border?

Shoozeoff
Shoozeoff (@guest_816464)
22 days ago
Reply to  George Allison

No one. Upon reading further articles it appears to be a political decision based on the governments fear of Scotlands independence movement and the rewarding of contracts to keep Scotland in the union. It seems strange to a layman such as myself that we as a nation are concerned with these issues while tensions in the world increase daily. Shouldn’t we just dish out some shipbuilding contracts to a few more yards and get the navy up to a decent size and modern operational standard as quickly as possible? we will all be in the same boat ( no pun… Read more »

DB
DB (@guest_816454)
22 days ago
Reply to  Shoozeoff

For the pedants among us, some might say no.

I’d suggest, semantics aside that a 16,000tn Vanguard or a mere 9,000tn Astute, suggest we do have the capability.

Why? At the same time as the Vanguards and lead up to Astutes, we built the Albions.

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_816280)
23 days ago

Hasn’t this been the case for several decades? Apart from sub building at Barrow all escorts are built in Scotland. RFAs & some blocks built in RUK.
Glad for Scotland, but I’d like to see a bit of dispersion to RUK to keep the capability elsewhere too. Putting all our eggs in one basket may please bean counters(which has bought the RN to its current disgraceful low), but war would prove the stupidity of that when a couple of major strikes would wipe out the capability far too easiliy.

Jon
Jon (@guest_816289)
23 days ago

It’s an odd headline, isn’t it? “All major Royal Navy warships now being built in Scotland.”
In February 1992 HMS Richmond was laid down at Swan Hunters. In April 1993 she was launched and was handed over at the end of 1994. Around thirty years ago. Wasn’t that the last time a major Royal Navy warship wasn’t built in Scotland?

Albion and Bulwark could be classed as major warships at a pinch, I suppose. Built at Barrow, with Bulwark being delivered around ten years after Richmond. That’s still twenty years ago.

Last edited 23 days ago by Jon
ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_816370)
22 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Unfortunately the story of Swan Hunter was all brought to a crashing halt by a self inflicted suicidal lack of basic competence or financial reality. For the MOD to strip them of the last Bay contract mid build, transfer it to Barrow and exclude it from future RN contracts was unparalleled. What was even more surprising was the PM at the time was A Bliar who’s constituency is only 30 miles away.
Blocks and sections from the QE class and T26 were built at CL, A&P, Appledore and Portsmouth.

Jon
Jon (@guest_816500)
21 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

The demise of Hunters was a crying shame, but I suppose the same can be said of so much of the UK defence industry.

To jump in before any Scots get fashed: Lyme Bay was finished at Govan, not Barrow.