Shipyard must have a plan for the future

THE future of Govan shipyard remains uncertain as BAE decides on the future of the two Clydeside yards, but that has been the reality for the workers for decades now.

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The yard has survived previous threats, changes of ownership and continues to produce top class ships with the Clyde built guarantee, still respected around the world.

The new threat is different, hwoever, and whatever plan BAE chooses later this year, the same number of workers will be required whether on one or both banks of the river.

The threat is not to shipyard jobs specifically, but to Govan itself, which would lose a huge part of its economy and its identity, and shipbuilding there could become history.

The first priority must be to ensure the Type 26 frigates come to the Clyde in the first place, which BAE recognise is the best and indeed only place in the UK to build them.

Then, if Govan is not to feature in the plan, there is a four-year window to ensure it remains a manufacturing facility, either for ships in another form, or another large scale engineering capacity.

The site is large and versatile, the company has invested in skills with apprenticeships, and Govan is not yet ready to have its shipyard heritage consigned to history.

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