The crucial importance of Royal Navy shipbuilding contracts to the Scottish economy has been laid bare in a report commissioned by GMB Scotland today (Friday 2 September).
An economic analysis of Scotland’s defence sector by the Fraser of Allander Institute revealed that:
· 5,943 jobs and £162.7 million in wages are supported by BAE’s yards on the Upper Clyde; and
· 3,870 jobs and £105.9 million in wages are supported by the Rosyth dockyard in Fife.
The findings stress the need for the UK government to urgently deliver on the promised type-26 frigate programme for the BAE Systems yards in Govan and Scotstoun, which GMB Scotland revealed last April was subject to delay.
And as speculation mounts over a second independence referendum, the report also presents a challenge for the Scottish Government to demonstrate how they would sustain these jobs and wages in the absence of MoD contracts in a future independent Scotland.
GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: “This report was commissioned following the delays to the type-26 programme and because of the long-term frustrations felt by our members across the sector after years of being used as a political football.
“One job on the Upper Clyde alone supports an additional 1.18 jobs across Scotland so for the future of Scottish shipbuilding and our long-term economic prosperity it is imperative that the UK government makes good on the promised frigate programme.
“Furthermore, and with a second independence referendum a real possibility, the Scottish government needs to demonstrate to our members how they would plan to sustain their jobs, wages, pensions, skills and local communities without MoD investment.
“This report is a reality check and shows that the fragile Scottish economy cannot do without the thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of pounds in wages supported by navy shipbuilding contracts.”