THE latest round of job cuts will send “shudders down the spine” of shipyard workers across the UK, says Unite.

According to the union, another 150 jobs are to be cut by Babcock from the Rosyth yard on the Firth of Forth in Fife, raising fears that the redundancies could open up the flood gates to more job losses across the industry.

The yard announced 250 job cuts in November 2017 and a further 150 in March last year.

“The men and women whose skills built the UK’s two new world-leading aircraft carriers at Rosyth are at risk of being lost for a generation in a blow to the Scottish economy and UK shipbuilding,” said assistant general secretary of the Unite union Steve Turner.

“Today’s announcement of job losses will send shudders down the spine of shipyard workers across the UK who in recent months have endured the threat of redundancy on the Mersey and the closure of Devon’s Appledore shipyard.

“It would be a gross betrayal of a skilled workforce and British manufacturing if the Government continued with its obsession to award such work to overseas shipyards and deny manufacturing and communities in the UK the economic benefits that building the Royal fleet auxiliary ships would bring.”

Turner called for the government to bring forward work on the Type 31e frigate for export around the globe.

A Babcock spokesman said that the prospects for operations at Rosyth remain strong with great opportunities. He added that the announcement of more redundancies is a continuation of the need to right-size our organisation.

“Last year we began the process to reshape our business in order to remain competitive and take on new challenges, as the large-scale design and build phase of the Queen Elizabeth carrier programme reaches completion,” he said.

“Having assessed our current workload and medium-term opportunities, we anticipate the loss of around 150 specific roles which are no longer needed in line with the rundown of the programme.

“Our employees remain our priority throughout this process.”

GMB national officer Ross

Murdoch said that once again

shipyard workers were paying the price of the UK Government’s “betrayal” of the industry, adding: “Rather than ensure a steady

drumbeat of shipbuilding orders that keep the industry alive, the Conservatives seem content to let UK shipbuilding die out in the name of the free market.”