Confirmation of membership of the UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce

Members of the UK’s first Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce (UKSST) were announced today (24 May).

The task force will be chaired by Captain Dr Paul Little, Principal and Chief Executive of the City of Glasgow College. An academic leader with a successful part-time maritime career that included deployment with the US Coastguard, Paul has successfully transformed five UK higher education institutions and enjoys a strong international reputation. Paul brings dynamic leadership to the task force and over 40 years of naval knowledge as a veteran Coastguard officer, younger brother of Trinity House, member of the Nautical Institute, member of the UK Merchant Navy Board and member Merchant Navy and Royal Navy Associations. . He is also a proud Honorary Captain of the Royal Navy.

It will be joined by 20 members from across the UK, spanning industry including SMEs and large organisations, training providers and trade representative bodies.

The task force was announced in March 2022, as part of the cross-government National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSbS), to develop an advanced skills strategy that will boost training and job opportunities in the shipbuilding industry. shipbuilding, especially those related to new and emerging technologies and zero-emission shipping.

Skills Minister Alex Burghart said:

Ensuring we can provide more opportunities for people to train or upgrade their skills will be key to providing the UK shipbuilding industry with the talent pool it needs to thrive and ensuring that more people find jobs.

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Captain Dr Paul Little as Chairman of the UK Shipbuilding Skills Task Force. I know that he and all of the other members will bring the experience, passion and understanding needed to make this working group a success. I look forward to hearing about their work as the strategy develops.

Captain Dr Paul Little said:

I am honored and delighted to be appointed Chairman of the UK Shipbuilding Skills Task Force as it will allow me to combine my lifelong passions for skills and the sea. Some of the best and most famous ships in history have been built in yards across the UK, by a talented workforce of naval architects, master technicians and skilled apprentices. I therefore look forward to starting the first meeting of our highly experienced task force to review the current and future supply chain of shipbuilding skills and to identify any additional upskilling and reskilling needs. I look forward to working closely with the National Shipbuilding Board, civil and military stakeholders, colleges and schools to give shipbuilding a renaissance in the UK.

The 20 members of the working group are:

  • Linton Roberts, Chief Technology Officer, Cammell Laird Ship repairers and Shipbuilders Ltd and A&P Group Ltd.
  • Adrian Bevin, Curriculum Manager, Technology, South Devon College
  • Commodore Andrew Martin Cree, Deputy Director Future Training, Royal Navy
  • Edward James Corbett, Project Engineer, representing the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU)
  • Elizabeth O’Connor, Human Resources and Legal Manager, MJM Marine Ltd
  • Hannah Prowse, CEO, Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust
  • Keith Longman, Site Manager, Berthon Boat Company Ltd.
  • Kerrie Forster, CEO, Workboat Association
  • Mark Whitehead, Principal Customer and Commercial Director, Bibby Marine
  • Matt Bolton, Managing Director, UKNEST
  • Matthew Guy, Human Resources Director, Thales UK
  • Nick Mansell, Chief Executive Officer, Intermarine UK
  • Patrick Carnie, Chief Strategy Officer, Marine and Engineering Systems, Babcock International Group
  • Paul Feely, Director of Academy and Engineering, BAE Systems Naval
  • Paul Turner, Human Resources Manager, Princess Yachts Ltd
  • Rachel Kitley, Principal, Cowes Enterprise College, Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT)
  • Richard Westgarth, Industry Engagement, BMT MarRI-UK, as well as Adjunct Professor at the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute.
  • Sarah Dhanda, Head of Policy and Partnerships, Enginuity
  • Tahsin Tezdogan, Lecturer in Naval Architecture, University of Strathclyde

The first task force meeting is scheduled to take place in June and members will soon begin working with the wider industry to explore skills needs and shortages.

Rear Admiral Rex Cox, Director General of the National Shipbuilding Board, said:

I am delighted that Paul Little has been appointed Chairman of the new UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce. As Principal and Chief Executive of the City of Glasgow College and with a wealth of maritime experience, Paul is the ideal candidate for this position. I am confident that Paul’s appointment, along with task force members drawn from across the UK, and reflecting the true scale of our shipbuilding business, will emphasize skills and training.

The task force will play a vital role in overseeing our efforts to ensure that our industry is able to access workers with the right training and skills, which is fundamental to our ambition to drive growth and transformation to create a successful, innovative and globally sustainable shipbuilding business for Britain.

the broadcast list remains open to anyone who would like to receive email updates or be part of our advisory group to help shape the work of the task force.

Notes to editors:

  • The National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSbS) update builds on commitments from the previous strategy and reaffirms the need for the shipbuilding industry to work together to understand and articulate its future skills needs.
  • UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce (UKSST) will form a partnership between government, industry, training providers and trade representative bodies.
  • The working group will support the development and implementation of a forward-looking skills strategy for shipbuilding. Working closely with the Ministry of Defense (MoD), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Transport (DfT), it will compile a skills needs map of the industry and provide solutions to skills shortages, particularly those related to new and emerging technologies. By catalysing and leveraging the skills system, the Taskforce:

    • ensure suppliers are empowered to meet industry requirements
    • work with industry colleagues to promote varied and exciting career opportunities in the shipbuilding industry
    • draw inspiration from international best practices and other sectors
    • optimize funding of available skills and opportunities for shipbuilding