Create a successful shipbuilding sector
Last updated: 04:15pm 29 November 2019
Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.21
We want to replicate that success [from aero and automotive engineering sectors] in other sectors – like shipbuilding where, for the first time in decades, there is the prospect of a renaissance.
In the 2017 manifesto, the Conservative Party indicated the opportunity of a ‘renaissance’ in shipbuilding, replicating the successes of the ‘aero and automotive engineering sectors’. We think ‘renaissance’ is probably best understood in terms of economic growth and sustainability of the industry.
The National Shipbuilding Strategy, published in September 2017, endorses the implementation of recommendations from Sir John Parker’s independent report. It is designed to grow the shipbuilding industry through increasing competitiveness, focusing on exports, clamping down financially and encouraging innovation. The strategy is in the form of a 30-year “master plan” for naval ships and boats, making it harder to evaluate in the short-term.
The September 2019 update on the Shipbuilding Strategy found many shipyards had struggled economically (shutting down or having to be nationalised). However, a contract for the potentially profitable new Type 31e frigates has been successfully agreed. Sir John Parker in 2019 gave a mixed verdict, saying changes were needed whilst some progress was being made. Likewise, in November 2019 – against the recommendations of the National Shipbuilding Strategy – the MoD halted bidding on a £1 billion contract for support ships, partly to allow offers from international bidders who have subsequently pulled out.
With the 30-year plan far from fully implemented – and currently yielding mixed results – it remains to be seen whether shipbuilding can replicate the success of aero and automotive engineering. As such, this policy will remain ‘in progress’.
Succeed with the facts!
- National Shipbuilding Strategy – Gov. uk
- The National Shipbuilding Strategy: January 2018 update – Parliament.uk
- Britain’s shipbuilding strategy has not gone according to plan – and industry is noticing – Defense News
- Review of the National Shipbuilding Strategy 2019 – Gov.uk
- Royal Navy halts order for support ships as bidders could not meet budget – The Telegraph
- Shipbuilding – Ministry of Defence written statement – made on 4th November 2019 – TheyWorkForYou
- Can British shipbuilding be revived? – Save the Royal Navy
- Prime Minister pledges to bring shipbuilding back to the UK – Gov.uk
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