APPLEDORE Shipyard is preparing to take on its first marine apprentices for six years. Parent company Babcock Marine, headquartered in Devonport, has confirmed that it is intending to recruit and train 14 shipbuilding apprentices at the North Devon yard

APPLEDORE Shipyard is preparing to take on its first marine apprentices for six years.Parent company Babcock Marine, headquartered in Devonport, has confirmed that it is intending to recruit and train 14 shipbuilding apprentices at the North Devon yard.These will be the first apprentices at Appledore since 2002. The decision to restart the training programme follows the winning by Babcock in July of a contract to build two new aircraft carriers for the Ministry of Defence.Babcock is a member of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance that is responsible for the design and supply of these ships. In addition to carrying out assembly of the carriers at its Rosyth facility in Scotland, the company will be fabricating structural elements at Appledore, providing a secure workload for the North Devon yard for up to five years.The Appledore yard currently has 240 workers.The apprentice training programme will be run in accordance with national standards and its delivery will be supported by the North Devon College in Barnstaple.Babcock Marine's chief executive Archie Bethel said "This is an important move that reflects the stability offered by the current superyacht build activity, supplemented by the future carrier construction work. It represents good news for the manufacturing base in this part of the South West.