Shipbuilding

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I read the news item (22 July) about Jim McColl of Clyde Blowers looking at the prospects of restarting shipbuilding on the Clyde and I would assume he is only looking at the prospect and nothing more.

Let’s get in the real world: the Far East ship builders are light years ahead of the starting point that is available to the Glasgow entrepreneur.

Their hourly wage for tradesmen is a quarter of our minimum wage.

They have fully covered 
shipyards while we can lose as much as 50 per cent of productivity time in the winter 
months.

Three years ago we placed an order overseas to supply, cut and fabricate all the steel for the new Forth Bridge, and that was to fabricate the structure in 
sections that could have been done undercover in a dozen different former oil rig yards and shipbuilding facilities across Scotland.

Why was that allowed to 
happen?

Yes, we are building two big aircraft carriers but it has to be remembered that Asian shipbuilders were not on the bidding list for that work.

COLIN COOKSON

Stenton

Glenrothes