Carrier delays may put UK skills base at risk

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Carrier delays may put UK skills base at risk

Post by Guest on Sat 29 Mar 2008, 2:29 pm

Trade minister Lord Digby Jones has warned of the threat to Britain's skills base unless the Government places a long-delayed order for new aircraft carriers.

Lord Jones said he would be writing to relevant government departments, including the Ministry of Defence, to express the frustration of companies involved in the consortium that would build the vessels.

His move comes amid fears that a decision on building the carriers is now caught up in a new Defence Operational Review, which could take months to report. It had been hoped a decision on the 3.9bn carrier project would come this month, two years later than originally planned.

Lord Jones said he had talked to consortium members - including VT Group, BAE Systems, Thales and Babcock - who are worried about jobs cuts unless the project starts. He added VT had taken on 150 apprentices for the project and was questioning the need for them if the carriers do not get the go-ahead.

Source: Telegraph - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2008/03/27/cndigby127.xml

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