Cammell Laird recruits apprentices to fill skills gap
Relaunched Merseyside shipyard Cammell Laird is strengthening its workforce with the recruitment of 20 new young apprentices.
The recruits aged between 17 and 20 are all from Merseyside and take the total number of apprentices in training to 49. The group includes the first female apprentice at the shipyard for seven years, 17-year-old Lacey Cudden. Lacey, from Moreton a former pupil at St Mary’s College in Wallasey, is training to be a mechanical fitter specialising in working on ships engines.
Cammell Laird HR manager Danny Hart said that the recruitment drive at the resurgent shipyard is ramping up in response to the company’s commitment to train the next generation of skilled workers.
“There is a huge skills gap we need to fill to meet our commercial obligations,” he said. “So under the close supervision of our vastly experienced instructors and mentors we will be training these young people in highly skilled disciplines. This includes key skills such as plating, welding, pipe fitting, and mechanical engineering. Historically this shipyard has built its reputation on the quality of its workmanship, so the skills of our workforce are absolutely critical to the future success of Cammell Laird.”
Mr Hart said the shipyard’s apprenticeship programme will be coordinated at Maritime & Engineering College Northwest which is adjacent to the shipyard.
“We have a long and proud history of employing and training local people with skills for life,” he said. “It is fantastic to see the relaunched Cammell Laird bringing back that tradition. Interestingly our new apprentices have close family relations with the yard with many of their fathers, grandfathers and even great grandfathers having worked here.”
In November the firm’s management team relaunched the shipyard as ‘Cammell Laird’, bringing the world famous name ‘back home.’ The shipyard had been trading as Northwestern Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders since 2001, and having established itself as one of the premier shiprepair, conversion and military refit companies in Europe managing director John Syvret said the business had enough substance to justify bringing back the Cammell Laird name.
The company has recently managed to pre-qualify for the construction of large sections of the UKs future aircraft carrier project. If successful the company will significantly increase the number of employees in the shipyard. The £3.8bn project will see the construction of two new 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers. HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, will be the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy, nearly three times the size of the current Invincible-class carriers. They are expected to be completed between 2014 and 2016. Cammell Laird built two Arc Royal aircraft carriers launched in 1938 and 1955 respectively.