in Defence / Security

Harland & Wolff reaches 1,000 employees

Posted 14 December 2023

Harland & Wolff has reached the milestone of 1,000 employees across the company, as it continues to actively recruit new staff to meet demand at its UK fabrication sites in Appledore, Arnish, Belfast and Methil and its commercial footprint in Aberdeen, London and Southampton.

Above: Employees at Harland & Wolff's Appledore site.
Courtesy Harland & Wolff

International shipbuilding and marine engineering business, Harland & Wolff, has reached 1,000 employees across the company, as it continues to actively recruit new staff to meet demand at its UK fabrication sites in Appledore, Arnish, Belfast and Methil and commercial footprint in Aberdeen, London and Southampton.

The milestone was passed this week and comes at the end of a significant year for the business, a year in which it was awarded, as part of the Team Resolute consortium with Navantia UK and BMT, a contract to build three Fleet Solid Support (FSS) vessels. That contract alone has unlocked £77 million of public and private investment for the company and is expected to create 1,200 jobs across Harland & Wolff’s Belfast and Appledore shipyards where the new vessels will take shape.

Harland & Wolff’s multimarket, multiservice strategy is driving the revitalisation of the company’s four delivery centres. At Appledore in North Devon, headcount is approaching 200 from a starting point of just one when the site was acquired in 2021.

Opportunities in defence and commercial are unpinning the recruitment drive, together with an ambition for the site to become a centre of excellence for aluminium boat building in the UK.

Its Belfast shipyard, one of Europe's largest heavy engineering facilities, is racing towards 500 personnel. Preparations for FSS are well advanced and current projects include the fabrication of barges and the recently announced SeaRose floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) refit contract. The vessel arrives in Belfast in February 2024.

The company acknowledges the increasing importance of investing in graduates and apprentices to provide the UK the advanced shipbuilding skills-base it needs. It now has more than 140 apprentices located across the company’s four yards, a number that is growing rapidly as workloads accelerate. Applications for its 2024 apprentice programme have just opened.

Andrew Jackson, Harland & Wolff Human Resources Director, said: “We are delighted to celebrate hitting the milestone of 1,000 employees. This is a significant moment for our company as we look to build-upon the progress we have made over the last few years and prepare to deliver key maritime and specialist engineering programmes in line with the UK government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy refresh.

“The £77 million investment we’ve received as part of Team Resolute has of course been a key catalyst in our recruitment drive and desire to transform Harland & Wolff’s yards into some of the most advanced in the world. We are welcoming hundreds of new colleagues right across the business and in all disciplines, talent that will ensure deep and enduring links with the communities with which we work.”

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