Babcock unveiled plans to recruit 500 staff to build Royal Navy frigates in Rosyth as it officially opened a new £31 million assembly hall.
The 500 new jobs are part of the build programme for type 31 frigates.
The programme is expected to bring 1,250 new jobs to Rosyth, while creating the same number in the UK-wide supply chain.
The new jobs include up to 150 support operator roles.
Sean Donaldson, managing director of Babcock’s Rosyth site, said: “There will be a mix of people who are already skilled.
“Semi-skilled people will work alongside the trades. The intention is to give them a route into adult apprenticeships.
“We’ve been working with Fife College on that – there is a real chance for people to build careers or to change careers if they wish.”
Opening of Babcock state-of-the-art facility
The Venturer Building, which stands 147m long and 62m wide, plus 42m high, took two years to build.
Mr Donaldson said it was a “massively significant” day for the firm.
“It is really important for the company, for the workforce and for the local area.
“These are products that people are going to put their heart and soul into.
“For them to leave from Rosyth is hugely significant for the people and for the local area.”
There was a demonstration of two 125-tonne gantry cranes, which will be used in the assembly of he frigates.
Rehan Mohammed and Kayla Balfour, from King’s Road Primary School, were also in attendance.
The primary 7 pupils planted shrubs to add the final touches to the facility.
The new Babcock assembly hall will house two frigates for uninterrupted, parallel assembly and will support increased productivity through improved access to the platforms.
Pride at unveiling new assembly hall
Will Erith, Babcock Marine chief executive, said it was a “proud” day.
He said: “It is a really significant programme.
“There is a knock-on benefit for the wider community here, with whom we have a really close relationship.
“That is an important part of what we do.”
“The team have done an incredible job. We remain ahead of schedule and it’s a proud moment.”
Mr Erith said the new Babcock assembly hall will deliver “a very real step change in capacity and capability for modern UK shipbuilding.”
The Babcock Marine chief executive also outlined the next stages of the type 31 frigate build programme.
The first parts of the first frigate will be in the new assembly hall within the next few weeks.