Vosper poaching row

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The Independent Online
THE SHIPBUILDING regions of Tyneside and the Solent were at loggerheads yesterday after it emerged that a rival warship yard is planning to lure skilled workers away from the closure-threatened Swan Hunter yard, writes Michael Harrison.

Vosper Thorneycroft, of Southampton, will tonight hold a recruitment drive at a Wallsend hotel in an attempt to poach design engineers from Tyneside to the south coast, where it has a pounds 700m order book made up of naval contracts from the Middle East.

But the timing of its foray into Tyneside has angered the Labour MP for Wallsend, Stephen Byers, who said: 'If this raiding party from the South is successful it will drain away the lifeblood of the North-east - its skilled workers. These workers are precisely those individuals on whom any economic regeneration of the area would be based.'

Chris Girling, Vosper's finance director, defended its actions, saying: 'We have been recruiting in Jarrow, Barrow and all over the place. We are in direct contact with Swan Hunter's personnel department and its attitude is fully supportive.'

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