Devon shipyard’s workforce to increase to more than 300

A dry dock inside Appledore shipyard
Appledore shipyard was bought by Harland and Wolff in 2019

Appledore Shipyard is aiming to increase its workforce from 185 to more than 300 over the next two years.

Owners Harland and Wolff told district councillors in Torridge that interest in apprenticeships was growing.

It said it would try to recruit more apprentices and re-train and upskill workers from other industries to boost its workforce.

The firm won a £55m contract last year to refit former Royal Navy mine-hunting ship HMS Quorn.

It was due to start work on three large Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships in March 2025.

"We are maxed out with the people we have got," said the company's training manager Tony Cole.

"We have quite a healthy pipeline of work and at the moment we have 185 employees.

"When you consider a few years ago we had 40, that is not bad going.

"By 2025 we need to be up to the 300-350 mark."

Bosses were speaking at a meeting of Torridge District Council's overview and scrutiny committee.

They were asked to answer questions about employment and education in the district, said the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Appledore shipyard was bought by Harland and Wolff after former owner Babcock closed it in 2019.

At the time, 200 employees were told they faced redundancy or deployment to Devonport Dockyard.

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