North Down MLA Alex Easton has called for every opportunity to be seized in shipbuilding following the announcement that a consortium including Harland and Wolff is the preferred bidder in a £1.6 billion contract from the Ministry of Defence for 3 Royal Navy support ships.

Speaking today the North Down MLA said:

“ While I am conscious that this matter is subject to Treasury Approval it is vital that all preparatory work is undertaken to ensure the opportunities, this presents are maximised. I believe businesses in North Down can benefit from this amazing news.

I will be looking in terms of skills and training in my North Down constituency to maximise the potential to secure a healthy share of the 900 jobs that are estimated to arise from this project.

We need to look additionally at career planning and for the many young people who can benefit from an apprenticeship to have the opportunity to do so.”