Shipyard plans job losses as work dries up
A&P Falmouth has started a 30-day consultation with staff and unions about a proposed restructure which could result in the loss of up to 78 positions at the yard.
Managing director Peter Child said the repair cycle of the yard's Ministry of Defence contracts combined with a depressed commercial shipping market and continued delays to the dredging of Falmouth Harbour to allow access by bigger vessels meant a temporary reduction in its workforce was unavoidable.
Mr Child said MoD work accounted for over 50% of the yard's business but having recently completed a multi-million pound refit of Royal Fleet Auxiliary Argus which had employed 200 staff for six months, the next major refit was not scheduled until April 2015. The sale of RFA Largs Bay to Australia in 2011 also means there are only four ships in a five-year cycle.
A&P, which employs 305 people, had hoped to win a contract to refit survey vessel HMS Scott this month, but it was awarded to Babcock.
Mr Child said the commercial shipping market was in deep recession with A&P's ability to access one of the few growth markets, repairs of larger ships berthed alongside rather than in dry dock, hampered by the lack of progress on the Falmouth Harbour dredging project.
He said: "Ships are getting larger and larger which is creating a growing market for alongside repairs that do not require dry docking. We are ideally placed to do that work except for the fact that we can't get the ships in because we need a deeper channel."