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Home » Harland And Wolff Headcount Hits 1,000 Across UK Yards

Harland And Wolff Headcount Hits 1,000 Across UK Yards

Harland and Wolff, the company which owns four shipyards across the UK including the iconic Belfast yead by the same name, has revealed it has reached total headcount of 1,000.

The landmark figure is a significant achievement for the business which was formed when Infrastrata bought Harland and Wolff’s Belfast yard out of administration in 2019, adding yards in Appledore in Devon and Arnish and Methil in Scotland since then.

It has added staff across the group in the intervening years having picked up a range of contracts to build barges, refit oil rigs and other projects. At the centre of that is the recently awarded contract, as part of a consortium, to build three Fleet Solid Support (FSS) vessels.

It has unlocked £77m of public and private investment for the company and is expected to create 1,200 jobs across Harland & Wolff’s Belfast and Appledore shipyards where the new vessels will take shape.

At present, headcount at the Belfast yard is close to 500, a significant uplift on the 122 left at the company when it went into administration in 2019 but still well off the 15,000 that were employed there in its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. It is awaiting the arrival in February of the SeaRose floating production, storage and offloading vessel which will be refitted in the yard.

At Appledore in North Devon, headcount is approaching 200 from a starting point of just one when the site was acquired in 2021. Opportunities in defence and commercial are unpinning the recruitment drive, together with an ambition for the site to become a centre of excellence for aluminium boat building in the UK.

Barges are also under construction at the company’s Methil heavy fabrication facility situated on the north bank of the Firth of Forth estuary where around 200 are employed. Harland & Wolff’s 38-hectare Arnish yard on the Isle of Lewis is focusing on energy sector, including nuclear and employee numbers are around 100 at present. In 2023, Harland & Wolff Arnish was awarded, and has subsequently delivered, its largest contract to date by a Greenland-based mining company.

“We are delighted to celebrate hitting the milestone of 1,000 employees,” Andrew Jackson, Harland & Wolff Human Resources Director, said. “This is a significant moment for our company as we look to build-upon the progress we have made over the last few years and prepare to deliver key maritime and specialist engineering programmes in line with the UK government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy refresh.”

“The £77m investment we’ve received as part of Team Resolute has of course been a key catalyst in our recruitment drive and desire to transform Harland & Wolff’s yards into some of the most advanced in the world. We are welcoming hundreds of new colleagues right across the business, and in all disciplines, talent that will ensure deep and enduring links with the communities with which we work.”

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