SHIPBUILDING on the Clyde has been dealing with a labour shortage as almost 200 jobs remain vacant.

There are at present 190 posts unfilled as BAE continues to make progress on work on a long-term contract to build eight frigates for the Royal Navy.

Last year the number was higher with around 400 jobs unfilled.

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The Clyde yards at Govan and Scotstoun are home to 4587 jobs out of 5605 across six UK sites in the Naval Ships business.

But as managing director Simon Lister explains, the market for workers is a challenge, particularly in steel.

He said: “The availability of steelworkers has been a challenge for all shipbuilders in the UK.

“Previously we have gone to the European market for steelworkers but that’s been a tight market.

"That’s why we are training our own steelworkers.”

He added: “In Scotland, skills are in short supply. We are not alone in thinking that.”

To deal with it the firm has been training staff and is investing longer term in its academy, working with local colleges.

Mr Lister added: “We are filling the gaps by training and direct recruitment.”

Glasgow Times:

Paul Feely, academy and engineering director, said: “We have contributed to the National Shipbuilding Strategy on skills. Collaboration within the industry has started and we need to build on that.”

He said work is underway on promoting the “attractiveness of the industry”.

Mr Feely added: “When you think about shipbuilding you probably think about welding but so many skills come together to build ships. It is not an industry in decline.

“We have got a full order book. There is a link between the investment and a full order book. Securing contracts allows us to invest.”

The firm's apprenticeship programme will be increased to 1000 next year and covers a wide range of occupations from welding to project management and finance.

Mr Feely said a career in shipbuilding is open to people covering a whole range of skills, not only manufacturing and heavy industry.

He said the company employs 2000 engineers and 800 of those are software engineers.