HMS Dauntless being assembled in Portsmouth

HMS Dauntless being assembled in Portsmouth. Photograph by Adrian Jones

British defence and security consortium BAE Systems is to cut 1,775 jobs at its shipbuilding yards in England and Scotland.

Shipbuilding will reportedly cease in Portsmouth in 2014, with the loss of 940 staff, and 835 jobs will go at other yards in Filton, near Bristol, and Govan, Rosyth, and Scotstoun in Scotland by 2016.

The job losses have come as a result of a “significant” drop in demand after the aircraft carrier work is completed.

In a statement BAE said:

BAE Systems has agreed with the UK Ministry of Defence that Glasgow would be the most effective location for the manufacture of the future Type 26 ships.

Consequently, and subject to consultation with trade union representatives, the company proposes to consolidate its shipbuilding operations in Glasgow with investments in facilities to create a world-class capability, positioning it to deliver an affordable Type 26 programme for the Royal Navy.

The cost of the restructuring will be borne by the Ministry of Defence. The implementation of these restructuring activities will sustain BAE Systems’ capability to deliver complex warships for the Royal Navy and secure the employment of thousands of highly skilled employees across the UK.

Some have claimed that part of the reason to end shipbuilding in Portsmouth rather than Glasgow was politically motivated with the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence, with the pro-union government preferring not to be seen to be taking jobs away from Scotland to the south of England.

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