Thunderer Workshop opens at Portsmouth Naval Base

Posted on 09 Dec 2018 and read 913 times
Thunderer Workshop opens at Portsmouth Naval BaseThe Royal Navy and BAE Systems ( have officially unveiled their new Thunderer Workshop for training engineering apprentices at Portsmouth Naval Base, which is intended to provide an increased skilled labour force to meet the naval base’s growing demand for engineers.

Barry Woolley, operations director for warship support, said: ‘The investment in improved facilities will enable enhanced training and support the retention of key skills. We will maximise the benefits and opportunities that this new development provides in support of the naval base’s mission of getting ships to sea on time, to cost and in the right condition.”

Opening the new Thunderer Workshop, Rear Admiral Richard Thompson, chief of naval engineering, said: “The UK as a whole has a shortage of engineers, and the Navy is vying for their services.

This is a phenomenal facility for apprentices to train.

"We need to get people from all different backgrounds interested in learning STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) and the potential of engineering as a career.

"The Royal Navy has a pivotal role to play in this.”

The new facility was built on the site of a former steel production hall and has taken three years to complete. Covering an area of 13,000m2 and 153m long, the workshop allows engineering apprentices to train with some of the industry’s most advanced machinery.

Apprentices have the opportunity to develop skills such as sheet metal work, mechanical fitting and pipe work.

The £10.3 million investment included £2.5 million from BAE Systems and £1.8 million from Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, with the remainder provided by the Ministry of Defence (

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