Commenting on the announcement today by the defence secretary of a new 'national shipbuilding strategy', Liberal Democrat defence spokesperson Judith Jolly said:
“My party welcomes the jobs that this programme will bring to shipyards across the country. But every ship needs a captain, and every captain needs a crew. Urgent assurances are needed about the personnel who will run these ships in the future.
“In the latest Armed Forces Attitude Survey, only 33% of personnel said they felt valued by their service, and recruitment and retention numbers continue to plummet. The latest pay review also highlighted particularly high rates of voluntary outflow among Royal Navy engineers.
“The government need to take immediate measures to reverse this worrying exodus of talent, and ensure that we have the necessary personnel to run these vessels once they are completed.”