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Andrew Dunlop: Rosyth - proud past and flourishing future

SCOTLAND Office Minister Andrew Dunlop today saw first hand the latest stages of work being undertaken on the new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance at Rosyth in Fife.

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During his visit, Lord Dunlop met senior members of Babcock management as well as union representatives.

He also spoke to some of the apprentices currently training at the Rosyth facility, which recently celebrated 100 years of Scottish naval expertise.

More than 5,000 people currently work at the site, making it one of the largest waterside manufacturing and repair facilities in the UK, with many more jobs provided in the supply chain.

As well as the aircraft carrier project, Babcock is involved in work for the North Sea oil and gas industry and the renewables sector. It has also had a significant investment in new workshops, fabrication bays and remote overhead cranes.

Afterwards, Lord Dunlop said:

Rosyth has a key role to play in developing the next generation of aircraft carriers, vessels which carry on Scotland’s proud shipbuilding tradition and will help maintain the security of the whole of the UK.

They have been involved in naval work here for 100 years – but have a keen eye to the future, with a thriving apprenticeship scheme, which will train the next generation of engineers – the men and women who will keep UK shipbuilding at the cutting edge.

I am particularly pleased to see Babcock’s commitment to encouraging more women into the industry, who currently make up an all too small proportion of our engineers.

The UK Government shares that determination to make a career in engineering an attractive option, because a diverse workforce means a more successful workforce.

Our Women in Engineering campaign is part of a long-term strategy to boost the economy and productivity, including the creation of two million more jobs and three million more apprenticeships over the next five years.

One of the apprentices Nicole Beaton said:

This is the best opportunity I have ever taken. I would recommend it to anyone.

Published 18 August 2015