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Babcock has unveiled plans to recruit 500 workers for the Type 31 frigate programme as the build of its new assembly hall, The Venturer Building, is completed at the company’s Rosyth site.

The announcement was made as Douglas Chapman MP, employees, industry representatives, local school children and trade unions gathered to witness the commemorative ‘topping out’ ceremony at the new facility.

The event included a demonstration of two 125 tonne gantry cranes, which will be used to assemble the frigates. Local schoolchildren added the final touches to the facility by helping to plant bulbs and shrubs around its perimeter.

Measuring 147m x 62m x 42m, The Venturer Building will initially be used for the assembly of the Royal Navy’s Type 31 frigates, providing a facility that can support UK and international shipbuilding activity for decades to come, according to Babcock. As the Type 31 programme continues, the fully covered hall will house two frigates for uninterrupted parallel assembly to support productivity gains through improved access to the platforms and digital connectivity.

The initial recruitment drive to support the programme will include a variety of trades including welders, fabricators and mechanical and electrical fitters as well as production support operatives, the company has announced. The announcement sees the 500 new roles contribute towards the direct workforce which is expected to reach around 1250 people at the height of the programme across the UK, supporting a similar number in the extended supply chain