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16,000 shipbuilding jobs at risk if government does not renew contract

MORE than 16,000 shipbuilding jobs are at risk if the government chooses not to renew a contract to build new military support ships, the GMB has warned.

The union has said it’s a “no-brainer” for Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt to ensure that £1 billion of government funds go to renewing the Fleet Solid Support in order to keep Britain’s shipbuilding industry buoyant.

If the government chooses not to go ahead with building the ships, analysis from the Ministry of Defence itself estimates that approximately 16,400 jobs across the country would be lost.

The new fleet is needed to service Britain’s £6.3 billion Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, and their strike force of F-35 fighter jets.

The news comes as the all-party parliamentary group on shipbuilding and ship repair urged the government to keep the contract in British hands.

GMB national officer Ross Murdoch said: “We have a highly skilled shipbuilding workforce in the UK that is more than capable of making these ships at a fair market price.

“We can’t let our proud shipbuilding tradition be sold down the river if the work goes to artificially subsidised international competitor shipyards instead.”


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