The Defence Secretary and Shipbuilding Tsar Ben Wallace met key industry leaders during a visit to Cornwall yesterday.
Wallace met with Pendennis Shipyard and A&P Falmouth to discuss how closer working between Government and British industry can help the shipbuilding sector maximise its potential, boost UK shipbuilding and level up communities.
During the visit, he also met apprentices from the shipyards and the Cornwall College Group, who are developing the skills and knowledge to bolster the British shipbuilding industry into the future.
His visit follows the refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy, published in March, which set out more than £4 billion of Government investment for the shipbuilding sector over the next three years, with a 30-year pipeline of more than 150 naval and commercial vessels.
The shipbuilding industry is supporting around 42,600 jobs across the country, and the south west region is the second most valuable in the UK, employing more than 19,000 people.
Wallace said: “What I have seen in the south west is a vibrant, thriving hub of global shipbuilding where cutting-edge innovation and skilled craftsmanship is being supported by more than four billion pounds worth of Government-wide investment in the sector.
“Meeting with young apprentices across these yards, where they are leading in highly skilled and varied roles has been hugely encouraging.”
David McGinley, CEO of Cammell Laird Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders Ltd, Atlantic and Peninsula Marine Services, said: “The National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh has come at a critical time for British shipyards and the wider supply chain, providing greater certainty of future UK shipbuilding projects, injecting vital confidence into the sector.
“The Defence Secretary’s visit to A&P Falmouth provided a platform for our business to share our strategy for the future and showcase our ongoing commitment to investing in our facilities and growing apprenticeship programme.
“We look forward to working with the UK Government to deliver key pillars of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.”
The National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh aims to build upon the success of the previous strategy launched in 2017, outlining the Government’s further ambitions to reinvigorate the whole British shipbuilding industry.
Pendennis chairman, Mike Carr, added: “The National Shipbuilding Strategy is an exciting opportunity to bring together all aspects of the UK marine industry under one umbrella and Pendennis is keen to explore how we can play our part.”