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Harland & Wolff to go into administration

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  #26  
Old 10th August 2019, 12:36
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Varley Isle of Man Varley is offline
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I may take up the thread again if I can get (and understand) the NSbS document. I really can't understand how GB could have challenged other European yards without it being a European 'captive' trade. A von Jones act?

(Thanks PM Tom, all much appreciated)
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  #27  
Old 11th August 2019, 15:09
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David, the NSbS was been published by HMG here in 2016, although I agree that its not an easy read, it does make 34 clear recommendations, of which almost all have been 'accepted' by HMG (whatever that means in political circles), however although they were accepted - I think very few have been actioned, which is likely a contributory factor in the sad loss of 2 UK shipyards in the same week.

I think that the Global Combat Ship (Type 26/31e) programmes future export success is one of the positive signs that the NSbS strategy could help UK shipbuilders export both ships and designs overseas, however I think it may have come too late to save some of the Shipyards identified as suppliers in the programme (Appledore, H&W and Fergusons).

Either way we look at it - as you state, any competition in the EU is difficult and skewed, due to many of those competitors enjoying state subsidies (Navantia Spain, DCN France and yards in Italy) to keep the yards in operation when times are tough....certainly not a level playing field for struggling UK yards.

Perhaps partial nationalisation may be the only way to save what little is left of UK shipbuilding - before its gone forever as Bob stated earlier, but it would need to be a better model than the last time (for example yards were not allowed to compete with each other for work and the Naval yards were not allowed to diversify by building Merchant ships).
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  #28  
Old 11th August 2019, 16:19
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Either way we look at it - as you state, any competition in the EU is difficult and skewed, due to many of those competitors enjoying state subsidies (Navantia Spain, DCN France and yards in Italy) to keep the yards in operation when times are tough....certainly not a level playing field for struggling UK yards.

Assuming that what you say is true, have you any idea why the British government does not make available similar state subsidies for British shipbuilders? Whose fault is it that only the British yards are not supported?
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  #29  
Old 11th August 2019, 17:12
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I don't understand (successive) Government policy on shipyard subsidies either Ron, undoubtedly the blame resides partly with them. According to the Save the Royal Navy website:
"Government is very reluctant to offer aid or intervention in failing industries that cannot be all be propped up indefinitely - but if nothing is done there will be further decreasing options when building ships in the future"
Who knows what it will take before they are forced to step in and save what is left of this once great industry?
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  #30  
Old 11th August 2019, 17:48
Makko Mexico Makko is offline
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Gents,

If I remember correctly, it was during the Thatcher governement that the British government took a "bung" to stop building ships in the UK and to eliminate any subsidies, even though France, Germany and Italy continued with subsidized building.

It is important to remember that governments do not run companies to make a profit (nationalized industries). It is only the dedicated capitalists/industrialists who can do that and, if it doesn't work, cut their losses.

Rgds.
Dave
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  #31  
Old 11th August 2019, 18:59
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Thatcher and her 'lame duck' philosophy with no thought whatsoever for the well being and strategical situation of the country. Once these things and skills are lost, you can't just open a cupboard and re-instate them.

The 'service' economy was all that mattered which means people will flip burgers or work in a retail park. Nothing wrong with this work, but for a country of 60 million that has to import fuel/food/and now trains/ships/know how this will sooner or later lead us to the down side of Mr Micawber's principle, if it hasn't already.
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  #32  
Old 11th August 2019, 20:46
Makko Mexico Makko is offline
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Thatcher and her 'lame duck' philosophy with no thought whatsoever for the well being and strategical situation of the country. Once these things and skills are lost, you can't just open a cupboard and re-instate them.

The 'service' economy was all that mattered which means people will flip burgers or work in a retail park. Nothing wrong with this work, but for a country of 60 million that has to import fuel/food/and now trains/ships/know how this will sooner or later lead us to the down side of Mr Micawber's principle, if it hasn't already.
Bob,

I completely agree. As I said in a previous post, I went back to the UK in 2001 to take a decent position, with an agreement to serve at least five years. After that was over (2006), there was nothing there for me and nothing on a decent, make that comparable to expat, wage and conditions. It was good bye Blighty and I have never looked back since then.

Sad, but that is reality. I could go on about the deterioration of other things in the UK but won't.

Best Regards,
Dave
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  #33  
Old 11th August 2019, 21:15
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Dave,

I agree, this is not the same country that I was brought into by my old man!

For the record - moving abroad to work/live is an incredibly brave thing to do, sounds like your happy there, so it was obviously the right move.

I moved to Sweden for a few years for similar reasons - after doing depressing contract work for the MOD procurement people - However I made the mistake of coming back when the project was paused awaiting funding, whilst living in Stockholm, I was able to see the UK from a totally different perspective....and I wasn't impressed with what I seen! The Brexit fiasco has just cemented that view into my mind and I am now wishing that I had of stayed there!

Tom
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  #34  
Old 11th August 2019, 23:19
Makko Mexico Makko is offline
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Dave,

I agree, this is not the same country that I was brought into by my old man!

For the record - moving abroad to work/live is an incredibly brave thing to do, sounds like your happy there, so it was obviously the right move.

I moved to Sweden for a few years for similar reasons - after doing depressing contract work for the MOD procurement people - However I made the mistake of coming back when the project was paused awaiting funding, whilst living in Stockholm, I was able to see the UK from a totally different perspective....and I wasn't impressed with what I seen! The Brexit fiasco has just cemented that view into my mind and I am now wishing that I had of stayed there!

Tom
Tom,
Quite true.......I just did not fit in anymore! There are two types of "Wallaseyans", those that stay, and get nowhere, or those that leave! To be perfectly objective, IF you have certain skills/experience, they are not appreciated in UK. Upon returning, I remeber two comments, one in the company where I worked: "Oh, so you claim to be a real engineer!: and another (from a plumber that installed paint systems at auto plants),"So, you're an engineer, like me! But then again, I'm a company director!". Yeah, mate, we're the same...........

I had come from an 81M USD contract where I had been tasked with finishing the entire project in twelve months. It was already in comissioning in ten months. This was with an Italo-Argentinian company. I built a bridge, I replanned civil works, I worked in the field planning very complex and difficult heavy lifts, I got stuck into electrics, instrumentation and power distribution. If I didn't know, I damn well found out quick. I also did a stint in Pittsburgh as a furnace specialist when an engineer came down with appendicitis and then peritonitis!

Lessons learned? Of course! Back in the UK, it was a case of endless tutting,"Ooh! we don't do things like that here!" (a-la Kenneth Williams). Various projects that utilized the wrong technology (known to the company) and lost money - Except for mine, where, because of "forward thinking", not only by me but my other two operative colleagues (other personages on the outer bounds!), we made good money for the company. In part, and because my face didn't fit, I was offered fixing projects (after successfully completing a 24M EUR project for St. Gobain in Spain which had been abandoned), but Iran, Siberia and Reading were not my cup of tea and I left. I was immediately offered a job in Newport for a steel plant, a good job, three year duration and high status, but, for the sake of my family, Mexico beckoned again. That last offer was from an international company that knew of me first hand (They had audited us on the 81M project).

Where I now work, my profile and abilities were a perfect fit, albeit a fourth change of country in six years. I now cover from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego and act as a specialist consultant on a worldwide basis. However, the paint is never dry and who knows where I will be in a year's time!


Rgds.
Dave

Last edited by Makko; 11th August 2019 at 23:22.
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