Examination of Witnesses (Questions 40
MONDAY 20 MAY 2002
40. You know that, I know that, but how many
people in the schools in the Glasgow area know that?
(Dr Crawford) I think there are two issues here. It
may be a problem for the shipbuilding industry but it is a problem
for manufacturing as a whole in this country. Manufacturing as
a whole has an undeserved reputation. The great advances we have
seen in technology which Ron refers to are across vast tranches
of the manufacturing industry. So there may be a particular challenge
but it is not unique. What we need to do as a country, for example
in organisations like Careers Scotland which have a fundamentally
important role to play in this, is allow young people to understand
the great challenges and opportunities for the use of technology
which is available in key manufacturing industries, and certainly
shipbuilding falls firmly into that category.
41. Do you think then the companies have to
go out to the schools and sell themselves?
(Dr Crawford) I cannot comment specifically on BAE,
perhaps Ron or Steve can, but unquestionably the answer to that
is yes. Manufacturing does need to regain the calibre and reputation
in this country which it has in other parts of the world.
42. I just wondered about the age distribution.
There has been some surprise expressed about 20 per cent of the
workforce being over 56, but do you have any comparable figures
of age distribution for other industries? It sounds to me like
there may be good reasons for that, or there might be bad reasons
for it. Any comment?
(Dr Crawford) Manufacturing typically is higher than
services. International tradeable services, banking and so on,
have a lower age profile. That is an outcome of the history of
shipbuilding, the history of manufacturing, but even within manufacturing
that is at the top end. It perhaps should not be surprising when
you consider that shipbuilding has been around a long time. My
family worked in the shipyards.
43. Does it mean that their health is quite
(Dr Crawford) Physical health?
(Dr Crawford) I cannot comment on that.
45. You do not know why that would be?
(Dr Crawford) I am 50, unfortunately, and I was at
the tail end of the apprenticeship programmes which were widespread
on the Clyde in those days. I suspect it is simply an outcome
of the demographics, that they became apprentices in the 1960s
and they have stayed on in the industry through its many cut backs
and good for them. On their physical health, I have no idea.
(Mr Inch) The Glasgow economy is in its healthiest
state for some time and there is now active competition for young
people. What we are seeing here is that the retail, leisure and
hospitality sectors are coming together to get their act together
and have a higher profile in terms of recruitment, and I think
there is a need for manufacturing to go and sell manufacturing
as a good career option with career development built into it.
Manufacturing has perhaps been a bit slow off the mark, and other
sectors are getting ahead of them in the queue.
46. Mr Culley, I welcome what you have said
today, but Glasgow City Council have said in the short and medium
term they are upbeat about the prospects for shipbuilding, what
is your view over the 10 year period? What assessment do you make
of the next 10 year period?
(Mr Culley) I share their optimism. I think we are
dealing in facts and the fact of the matter is that we have a
contract signed currently for two ALSLs and six Type 45 warships,
and a further six Type 45 warships are under negotiation, and
in advance of that we have the prospect of two aircraft carriers
being commissioned by the MoD. The aircraft carriers themselves
are of such a vast scale that the two carriers alone will cost
£2.9 billion, and overall, when you include maintenance costs
and so forth in, that amounts to £6 billion with a life expectancy
of 30 years for maintenance and fit and so forth. As a consequence
of that, do I share the view of my friends and colleagues in the
City of Glasgow there is a secure future? Absolutely. I recognise,
however, it is pretty much predicated on naval and on the ability
to win export orders, but the future is now more positive than
it has been for many, many years. We stand on the brink of a bright
new future for the Clyde, a more stable future, and once you have
that stability other things become possible, other investments
become possible. But the role of the Task Force is to monitor
the investment profiles as we have mentioned on a number of occasions
now, because if BAE SYSTEMS depart from thatand we have
no reason to believe they will but if they were to do thatclearly
that will flag up a different attitude in my assessment.
47. Gentlemen, before we finish, is there anything
you would like to add to the evidence you have given us today?
No. On behalf of the Committee, I thank you most sincerely for
coming today and giving your evidence which will be extremely
useful to us when we come to compiling our report. Thank you very
(Mr Culley) Thank you very much indeed.