UNIONS and politicians are calling on the UK Government to ensure more work for Rosyth follows in the slipstream of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The £5million contract announced last week will see the aircraft carrier return home for a summer maintenance programme that will sustain around 100 jobs.

It arrived just after the Prospect union expressed serious concerns about the lack of work coming into the Babcock yard.

Prospect negotiations officer Jane Rose said: "We've seen a steady reduction in staffing numbers at Rosyth over the last year as work on the Royal Navy's other carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, nears completion.

"It's really good news that HMS Queen Elizabeth will return home for this maintenance work but we do need to see more commitment from the MoD to British yards to ensure that skills and sovereign capability are retained."

The aircraft carriers were assembled at Rosyth Dockyard in a £6.2 billion deal to deliver the UK's largest ever warships. But with HMS Prince of Wales nearing completion, it's due to be handed over to the Royal Navy later this year, Babcock announced in November 2017 that 250 jobs were to go.

This was followed in March last year with news that another 150 workers were being axed.

Dunfermline and West Fife MP Douglas Chapman added: "Further down the line, we await UK decisions on Type 31 frigates and fleet support ships.

"Rosyth is in the mix to benefit from these contracts too.

"Again, I urge the minister to get on with coming to a decision on these contracts which would keep these valuable skills at Rosyth for a long time to come.”

Prospect's senior officer in Scotland, Richard Hardy, said: "It's great news and one we've been working toward with local parliamentarians and through contacts with the Scottish Government but the bigger issue here is making sure that the Rosyth dry dock has work to keep it from closing before Queen Elizabeth's next planned refit.

"We need the UK government to review its decision on competing for the contract for the Fleet Solid Support ships (FSS) which will support and replenish the carriers at sea internationally and we need a proper commitment from the UK government to their own National Shipbuilding Strategy.

"But for today, let's celebrate this bit of good news and we look forward to seeing HMS Queen Elizabeth come home later in the year."