The shortage of nuclear submarine engineers in the UK is a “cause of serious concern,” according to MPs.
The warning, from a Commons defence select committee, came after prime minister Tony Blair outlined proposals to spend up to £20bn on a new generation of submarines to deliver Trident missiles.
The committee said replacing the present Vanguard submarine would require a “uniquely skilled and specialist workforce”.
Conservative MP James Arbuthnot, the committee’s chairman, said: “If we are to build a new generation of Trident submarines here in the UK, as the government’s White Paper suggests, we will have to work to sustain our manufacturing and skills base.”
Arbuthnot said the current workforce had “truly world-class” skills.
The Ministry of Defence said the committee’s report would “provide a useful contribution to the forthcoming debate and vote in the House of Commons”.