Ministry of Defence written question – answered at on 9 June 2022.

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Photo of Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson Conservative, Wolverhampton South West

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent steps his Department has taken to support British shipbuilding.

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace The Secretary of State for Defence

On 10 March, the Prime Minister and I launched the UK’s new National Shipbuilding Strategy, setting out a comprehensive package of Government support for the key priority of furthering a shipbuilding renaissance for the whole of the UK. It reflects over £4 billion of investment in UK shipbuilding over the next three years. Implementation of this ambitious strategy is being led by the National Shipbuilding Office.

I am delighted with the progress already made since publication of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. In particular, the National Shipbuilding Office is now fully operational and brings with it a clear strategic focus on maximising the national benefits from Government shipbuilding activity. The Maritime Capability Campaign Office, the trade and investment arm of the National Shipbuilding Office, in the Department for International Trade is also fully established and is rapidly identifying new civil and defence export opportunities.

Other recent achievements include the announcement of the Chair and membership of the UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce, who will develop a strategy to boost skills and jobs in the shipbuilding industry. The second round of the multi-year Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition has also been launched as part of Department for Transport’s £206 million investment in a UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions, which will match-fund private investment in the commercialisation of clean maritime technologies. The Shipbuilding Enterprise for Growth, the main interface between Government and industry, has also met twice to drive implementation of the NSbS, and begun work to develop a model for the Shipyard of the Future and define UK Centres of Excellence.

Lastly, for all Ministry of Defence shipbuilding procurements, I have raised the percentage of the evaluation criteria that considers their contribution to social value to a minimum of 20%. This could include the extent to which procurements support skills development or supply chain resilience. We will also construct future contracts to ensure we maximise as much as possible either UK build, content or design, or all three.

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