Scottish Enterprise, the country’s main economic development agency, has launched a marine technologies training project to ensure there is no shortage of engineering apprentices in the coming decade.
The new scheme comes after a £3bn contract to build an aircraft carrier for the Royal Navy in Scotland – on the Clyde in the west and at Rosyth in the east – was awarded to BAE Systems and Babcock Engineering Services.
Initial forecasts from both companies suggest up to 2,000 modern apprentices will be hired over the next 10 years to service projects associated with the contract.
Charlene O’Connor, Scottish Enterprise’s skills director, said there were currently around 300 apprentices in the country’s shipyards.
“This figure will rise steadily as around 150 new openings are created each year to cope with the increased volume of work,” she said.
“This puts Scotland at the forefront of the UK in terms of training young people in engineering-related skills and sets a firm foundation for the long-term, sustainable future of the industry in this country.”
According to Scottish Enterprise, shipbuilding and ship repair directly employs more than 7,000 people in Scotland – 24% of the UK’s shipbuilding workforce – and generates £410m a year for the the Scottish economy.