As the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSBS) acknowledges, having the skills within the UK to design, build, repair, and supply certain equipment and systems and integrate naval ships (and security sensitive equipment in all naval ships) is a key factor in the successful delivery of naval capability. We acknowledge that ensuring that there are sufficient numbers of properly skilled workers across the sector will require continued investment and support from Industry. BAE systems recently used advanced visualisation software to refine the design of our cutting-edge Type 26 Global Combat Ships. This highlights the increasing importance of IT skills for the future of UK Shipbuilding.
The question of apprenticeship and other recruitment is a matter for privately owned companies to determine, but as I'm sure you are aware, there are a variety of initiatives in place across the UK designed to support the development of skills, some are the responsibility of the Devolved Administrations. With regards to naval shipbuilding, the Maritime Enterprise Working Group with the support of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, MOD and the Society of Maritime Industries coordinate a long term programme to improve the industry's productivity and competitiveness, including current work to understand the underpinning skills base and roles.