Shipyard experience would be essential, however if you went into or stayed in heavy engineering these are transferable skills. After the yards shut I went to Grove/Coles cranes to finish my apprenticeship, I was there for nearly 10 years before it closed. After that, I worked in a variety of environments, chemical plants, refineries, lots of offshore fabs (never offshore though), decades of site work and even a short stint in Harland and Wolf. While I was travelling there was still Swan's, Amec and McNulty's to name a few
I agree it would be a real eye opener for a lot of young'ns to work in the environments we had to. Until getting a trade is promoted as a good way to earn a decent wage there will always be a skills shortage. It was the only option for some of us nuggets .
There’s a few of us on here who worked at McNulty’s.