Deputy First Minister responds.
Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said:
“The loss of 800 jobs across Scottish yards is a significant and devastating blow for the workers involved and for their families, for the industry and the wider Glasgow and Scottish economy. We will work closely with the company and with those who face redundancy, to help them into alternative employment through our PACE initiative.
“We welcome, however, the company’s continuing commitment to shipbuilding on the Clyde. This decision reflects the Clyde workforce’s world-class expertise and skills mix – and the past investment that has made the Clyde best placed to undertake work on the Type 26 vessels. At the same time we recognise the disappointment that faces shipbuilders in Portsmouth. We are sorry to see the loss of jobs wherever they may fall across the UK.
“We await details of how these redundancies will be managed and will press the company to secure these as far as possible through voluntary measures.
“Today’s announcement should also make us think long and hard about how we secure the long term future of the shipbuilding industry. The fact is that even with this last guaranteed work from the MOD - the Type 26 vessels - the Clyde yards still face substantial job losses.
“There can and must be a secure future for shipbuilding in Scotland but today’s announcement is a wake-up call to think differently about the future of our yards. Naval procurement will be part of that future but we need to do more to seek export work and diversify beyond naval orders alone. Other maritime countries, of similar size to Scotland - like Norway – support much bigger shipbuilding industries than Scotland.
“We will continue to work closely with the company. Both in the short term and to secure the long-term future of Scotland’s ship building industry.”
The Deputy First Minster has already directly briefed the First Minister on the latest situation concerning the UK Government’s shipyards announcement, and will be holding a conference call with him and other Cabinet members later this afternoon to discuss the Scottish Government's response to the situation.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney, will be speaking with BAE and Trade Unions directly this afternoon to offer assistance including the Scottish Government’s Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) Initiative.