Sir John Parker’s Independent Report into naval shipbuilding sets out far-reaching recommendations to transform the United Kingdom’s shipbuilding industry and boost the prosperity of shipyards and supply chains across the country. The findings of this important report could boost A&P Falmouth’s workload in the future if the government carry out the recommendations.

Gerald Pitts, Managing Director of A&P Falmouth said: “A&P Group commends the findings and recommendations of Sir John Parker’s National Shipbuilding Strategy Report. Sir John has undertaken an in-depth review of the UK market place and the organisations which operate within it. He and his team have recognised the capability, scale and engineering strength of these firms together with their entrepreneurial spirit.”

The report based on extensive consultation with government, industry, and trades unions, it will inform the government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy to be published in the spring.

It is a fundamental reappraisal of how the government undertakes naval shipbuilding in the UK with the aim of placing it on a sustainable long-term footing. It enables the foundations to be laid for a modern, efficient, and competitive sector capable of meeting the country’s future defence and security needs.

Sir John Parker said: “Should Government, Industry and the Trade Unions rise to the challenges I have set, I believe we can establish a new era of collaboration and success across the ‘Total Enterprise’.

It will create savings over the coming years for Ministry of Defence (MoD), renew the Royal Navy fleet, position the UK for new export opportunities and create regional prosperity and highly skilled jobs across the UK in the Shipyards and supply chain.

What could it mean for Falmouth? In a nutshell Parker is advising the government to spread the load of shipbuilding and ancillary work to yard’s and suppliers UK wide when it comes to building and repairing Royal Navy and RFA vessels.

In a separate letter to Ministers Sir John writes: “ There is a vibrant UK shipbuilding, marine and defence supply chain which the MoD needs to harness. The MoD should seek to better understand the socio-economic benefit of awarding work to UK shipyards or UK suppliers in non-warship building and all ship outfitting procurement decisions.”

There is already a vibrant shipbuilding and marine engineering sector across the UK. Around 15,000 people are directly employed in UK shipbuilding and repair, with an additional 10,000 jobs indirectly supported through the wider supply chain in the UK.

The report has highlighted the important role that the commercial shipbuilding sector has played in supporting UK Naval Shipbuilding and how the commercial shipbuilding sector can add further value in future build programmes.

Mr Pitts said: “As the UK’s largest provider of ship repair, conversion and marine services, A&P Group works extensively with the MoD. The scale of our contracts demonstrates the increasing appetite from the Ministry of Defence to harness the commercial sector’s skills, resources, experience and value.”

A&P Group contracts include the MoD Aircraft Carrier build programme and the Astute class build. A&P Group also provides extensive support through the RFA Cluster contract and is currently preparing for the arrival of the first of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s fleet of four Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) tankers. A&P Group will also complete the United Kingdom Customisation, Capability Assessment Trials and Support (UKCCATS) work for the vessels.

Backed by a rising defence budget, the government is investing billions in a growing Royal Navy building two new aircraft carriers, new Type 26 Global Combat Ships, Dreadnought and Astute class submarines, and offshore patrol vessels. It is also developing a new class of General Purpose Frigate so that by the 2030s the MOD can grow the size of the fleet.