Furness Enterprise has welcomed news that BAE Systems’ Submarines is to create 280 jobs at its Barrow yard due to "significant progress" in submarine programmes in the last 12 months. The jobs come on top of an announcement made back on 6th February that 136 apprentice posts will also be created this year, the largest number at a single site within BAE, across the UK and the largest number to be recruited at Barrow for five years.

 The numbers of apprentices required at Barrow-in-Furness are necessary to maintain skills unique to the maritime sector and to build all seven nuclear-powered Astute Class submarines. Barrow-in-Furness, which is the UKs only submarine building yard, is also preparing for Successor the replacement submarine to the Vanguard Class which is currently scheduled to enter service in 2028. In May 2011, the UK Government gave approval for the early design phase for the programme.

The 5,000-strong workforce at Barrow is to be bolstered by 100 engineers, 30 designers, 30 test and commissioning engineers and 50 project managers, among others, the North-West Evening Mail reported.

In late 2010 the government announced orders for a seventh Astute class nuclear-powered attack submarine, and work on the successor to the Vanguard class nuclear deterrent submarines is also gathering pace ahead of the main gate decision, which is due after the next general election.

John Hudson, managing director of BAE's submarines division said, "We have witnessed significant progress across the submarine programme in the past 12 months, with a number of notable successes. There is now a greater degree of stability and our performance against key milestones continues to improve on previous years.”

"The successor programme to design a replacement for the Vanguard class is gaining momentum and to that end one of the key objectives for the business through 2012 remains the recruitment of professional engineers."

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