A NEW shipbuilding academy is to be built on the banks of the River Clyde to ensure Glasgow has the skills the industry needs for the future.

BAE Systems has Royal Navy contracts for eight ships into the next decade and is looking even further ahead.

It has announced it will build a new base at Scotstoun Shipyard to deliver bespoke training and keep the workforce's skills up to date.

The £12 million Applied Shipbuilding Academy will be used to deliver learning for the whole workforce, from apprentices to senior managers.

It will house a modern trade hall and a flexible learning hub for practical and theory courses.

The trade hall will be in a retrofitted historic building at the yard, with dedicated areas for each shipbuilding trade, while the learning hub will be a newly built facility with 30 classrooms a STEM lab and offices.  

It is expected the facility will be complete later this year and provide training for around 4500 staff and 700 apprentices.

BAE said the hub will “accelerate the modernisation of Glasgow’s historic shipbuilding industry” and secure the skills needed for future generations.

Paul Feely, academy and engineering director for BAE Systems’ Naval Ships business, said: “This new training facility is an exciting demonstration of our commitment to shipbuilding on the Clyde, allowing us to further support thousands of highly skilled jobs in Scotland.

“Our investment in Glasgow will help us to deliver the national endeavour that is the Type 26 programme and ensure that we can provide navies around the world with a competitive edge in the decades to come.”

The new academy will be the third dedicated BAE training centre and the first in Scotland following similar facilities in Samlesbury and Barrow-in-Furness in northwest England.

Rex Cox, the chief executive officer at the National Shipbuilding Office, said: “Our work with the UK Shipbuilding Skills Task Force identified the urgent need to invest in shipbuilding skills.

“At the National Shipbuilding Office, we are heartened to see such tangible action being taken in response to our collective call for upskilling the industry and we look forward to the positive impact this academy will have on our national shipbuilding capabilities."

BAE is also building a new ship hall at Govan shipyard with the capability to build two frigates side by side indoors.

It will speed up production at the yard and provide better conditions for the workforce, taking ship construction indoors.

The firm said it is investing around £300m overall in the Clyde yards over the next five years.