Babcock International is to cut 250 workers at the Rosyth Dockyard in Fife in what is being called a ‘pre-Christmas blow’.

The defence contractor stressed that they believed the future outlook for Rosyth remained bright with more orders on the horizon.

A Babcock spokesman said:

“The prospects for Babcock’s operations at Rosyth remain good. The last ten years of the Queen Elizabeth class carrier programme has been an outstanding success story. Unfortunately, given the one-off nature of this large-scale programme, as the ships begin to be handed over to our customer, we must inevitably reshape our business to remain competitive and take on new challenges, which we firmly believe exist for Rosyth.

However, medium term opportunities cannot compensate for the 250 or so specific roles and capabilities no longer needed with the slow-down of the QEC work.

Our employees are our priority throughout this process, we understand how unsettling this news may be and we will work closely with those affected and our trade union representatives through this consultation period to redeploy or relocate as many employees as possible within our wider organisation and support those who wish to take this opportunity to move on.

We remain committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our workforce that supports both our current and future operational needs. In fact, looking to the future we have recently taken on our yearly intake of apprentices and graduates, underlining our focus of developing and delivering the best solutions in the most effective ways for our customers.”

This comes despite Babcock and BMT recently signing a cooperation agreement which could see the Type 31e Frigate built in Rosyth, Scotland and Appledore, Devon if their bid is successful.

Recently it was reported that Babcock International was keen to challenge BAE Systems dominance and is interested in bidding for the £2Bn Type 31e contract.

We understand that Rosyth in Scotland and Appledore in Devon are the preferred build and assembly locations for the joint bid.

Babcock were originally offering the ‘Arrowhead 120 while BMT were offering the Venator 110, the companies now say that they will be exploring both available designs to determine the best possible option.


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Sad day for those affected and a clear indictment on where the uk is going wrong with simple scheduling of a an actual fleet.

As stated the MOD have had 10 years to work out “what next” and have failed spectacularly. As a result our forces have very old/obsolete equipment, we have wasted millions on designs and on slowing down current builds and the result is 250 skilled people will be without a job in the near future for no fault of their own.

This drives me mad – just dismal, dismal basic planning/management.


Inevitable this was going to happen, a shame for the people concerned but engineers and ancillary types of workers are in demand, so they will find work, no doubt.
Building two 65000 carriers is once in a generation project and has provided work for thousands of people. Don’t get too hysterical pacman27, it’s a bit embarrassing.

Harry Bulpit

It is a shame. Would be nice if they could go straight on to building the proposed solid support ship.

Stephen G.

Exactly Harry, they should keep the gantry crane and bid for the solid support ships. I wonder what “strong encouragement” (from the n.s.s) is being given to British shipbuilding to bid for the solid support ships?


It does seem an awful waste of assets and workforce when we can build RFA, Humanitarian aid and amphibious replacements for the next 25 years. All based on the Tide class hull form: 4 FFT (Fast Fleet Tankers) 4 JLSS (joint logistic and support ships) 4 HALSS (Humanitarian Aid logistic and support ships) 4 JALSS (Joint Amphibious logistic and support ships) This would give us an RFA/Amphibious/Helicopter platform force of 20 ships total (inc. current new tide class) with 4 Hospital/humanitarian ships for use in a national emergency but dedicated to humanitarian tasks and fully funded by the Foreign Aid… Read more »


oh and then repeat….

Mr Bell

Would be nice if they could go straight on to building a couple of new LPHDs to replace Ocean.
that is never going to happen though, although strategically it would be the right thing to do 100%.

Jack Wyatt

With Canada and Australia to commence shipbuilding programmes there is scope for work in those countries.


Mr Bell I dont think we need a replacement for Ocean, we should let it go gracefullly and accept that the QEC’s are the game for both helicopter and fixed wing going forward. A Karel Doorman style JLSS can handle 6 marlins on it flight deck and hanger and for me this is what we should be building, either for the RFA or for a humanitarian deliver force for the UN. The new Solid Support Ships should be based on the KD design and improved upon for our needs – we have the right hull form in the Aeigr and… Read more »


A new hospital ship from the foreign aid budget

Geoffrey Roach

Absolutely! with a flat top.


It is depressing to think about these continuing problems, I have no faith in the UK government.