Fleet Solid Support Contract – skills gap can be a trigger for home build

Fleet Solid Support Contract – skills gap can be a trigger for home build

Answer to written question strengthens case for keeping the work in the UK

Rosyth at sunset with naval vessel moored

An answer from the Ministry of Defence to a parliamentary question from Labour MP Paul Sweeney has further strengthened the argument for building the new Fleet Solid Support (FSS) vessels for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in the UK.

In the answer, the MOD conceded that contracts could be kept in the UK if they help to retain skills that are essential for future warship contracts.

Prospect has been campaigning alongside other shipbuilding unions to keep the work in the UK and help protect jobs. However the government continues to insist the contract must be put out to international competition.

Speaking in support of the campaign, Prospect deputy general secretary Garry Graham said: "The recent parliamentary answer confirming that River Class patrol boat orders were placed to ensure skills retention in British yards shows a similar decision to protect skilled jobs can be made in respect of the FSS contract.

"Continuing with the process of offshoring the FSS build while hundreds of Prospect members' jobs are at risk at Rosyth, and yards such as Appledore are closed, is simply illiterate from an economic and defence perspective.

"Prospect will continue to lobby for these complex vessels to be built in the UK.”