Construction has begun on a new Applied Shipbuilding Academy at BAE Systems’ Scotstoun shipyard on the banks of the River Clyde.

It will comprise a Modern Trade Hall and a Flexible Learning Hub, supporting the development of the entire workforce, from apprentices to senior leaders.

A historic industrial building will be retrofitted to become the trade hall, with areas dedicated to each shipbuilding trade, ship-realistic mock up environments and research facilities. Immediately adjacent will be the hub, containing more than 30 classrooms, a STEM innovation lab and offices.

On completion in the second half of 2024, the academy will provide bespoke training for almost 4,500 employees, including nearly 700 apprentices.

These new facilities will also enable a substantial expansion of the early careers programmes at BAE Systems, doubling the intake in Glasgow to more than 200 new apprentices each year.

Paul Feely, academy and engineering director for BAE Systems’ Naval Ships business, said: “This new training facility is an exciting demonstration of our commitment to shipbuilding on the Clyde, allowing us to further support thousands of highly skilled jobs in Scotland.

“Our investment in Glasgow will help us to deliver the national endeavour that is the Type 26 programme and ensure that we can provide navies around the world with a competitive edge in the decades to come.”

The academy in Glasgow is the third dedicated training facility which BAE Systems has created, following similar investments in Samlesbury and Barrow-in-Furness in the north west of England.

BAE Systems has almost doubled its investment in education, skills and early careers activities to £180m during the past two years.

Construction of a modern shipbuilding hall in Govan is also underway and, together with a range of additional investments in technologies and equipment, it forms part of an overall £300m investment in the two sites in Glasgow over the next five years.

These investments should enhance productivity of the shipyards to support the delivery of the eight Type 26 frigates for the Royal Navy, and potential future orders.

BAE Systems has also announced that it is recruiting almost 300 apprentices and graduates to join its Naval Ships business in Glasgow during 2024. The closing date for apprentice applications is 28 February, with multiple graduate intakes throughout the year, including January, June and September.