TWENTY new apprentices have joined the workforce of engineering giant Babcock at HM Naval Base Clyde.

The latest intake has been joined by five newly-recruited university graduate trainees in the fields of mechanical, electronic and electrical engineering as the Ministry of Defence’s private sector partner at the base prepares for the expansion of the Royal Navy’s presence at Faslane and Coulport over the coming years.

Following a year at college, the new apprentices will join the company’s existing workforce at the naval base to work alongside time-served craftspeople and will benefit from their many years of experience as they learn their new trade.

Among the new recruits is apprentice Leo Meens, from Helensburgh, who said: “I was thrilled to hear that I had been accepted on to the scheme.

“I live locally and have been interested in all things mechanical throughout my school years, and I’m really looking forward to learning my trade and working at the Naval Base – I can’t wait to get started.”

READ MORE: Babcock's Faslane apprentice scheme extended for another year

Meanwhile, the five new graduates will join the main workforce at the naval base immediately and start a programme rotating around the base’s production-based departments, putting their higher education in mechanical and electrical engineering to good use as they support a number of critical projects during a three year period.

Gavin Leckie, managing director for Babcock at Clyde, said: “Babcock is delighted to be investing in the skills of our workforce at HMNB Clyde.

“This new cohort represent the next generation of our talented team.

“I hope that the new apprentice and graduate members of the team enjoy their new challenge with Babcock and understand just how critical a role they will play in keeping the Navy’s submarines and ships seaworthy, safe and out at sea.”

READ MORE: New arrivals make Babcock's naval base team a family affair

The naval base workforce is set to expand to a total military and civilian workforce of 8,200 – including 1,700 submariners relocated from HMS Devonport – as the base becomes home to the Navy’s entire submarine fleet.

Employee development remains an important focus for Babcock, which includes supporting the development of future talent through its apprentice and graduate programmes.

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