Plymouth-based warship HMS Sutherland is the first in the Royal Navy to give engineers the chance of an exciting more rewarding career on board by adopting new changes.

Younger weapons and marine engineers, especially, will now be given the chance to take more responsibility at an earlier age and stage in their careers and there are now more of them at the lower career level.

HMS Sutherland’s captain Commander Steven Anderson said: "This is another example of HMS Sutherland leading the way.

The new structure of my engineering departments will allow my young, talented engineers to step forward and take charge of some extremely sophisticated and technologically advanced equipment.

I have complete confidence that my frontline engineers will ensure this new technology operates at the highest standards to allow HMS Sutherland to complete any tasking that can be expected of her."

This happened by creating new structures in engineering departments, previously trialled on sister frigates HMS Lancaster and Plymouth-based HMS Portland.

HMS Sutherland is the first ship to change both weapons and marine departments at the same time and cements unity within the engineering onboard.

Leading engineering technicians (LETs) (the first step up the career) ladder for able seamen, are taking on the most additional responsibility and rewards the high calibre of personnel coming into the Royal Navy who are keen to do more ‘hands-on’ engineering and have equipment of their own to look after.

The changes are the key to future recruitment and retention, giving the LETs better job satisfaction and giving them the realist ambition of becoming deputy section heads.

Other improvements include streaming engineering departments into specialisations with the marine engineering department having personnel dedicated to either mechanical or electrical engineering.

LET Alan Wormald, 29, from Keighley, West Yorkshire said: “I’m looking forward to more responsibility and helping to improve personal career development. I’m hoping to steam towards the propulsion section and become a propulsion petty officer in the future.”

LET Gordon Stewart, 40, from Elgin, Scotland said: “I have been lucky enough to be given extra responsibility in the diesels section before we can into refit, so I will be continuing with this responsibility in a more formal way under the new structure.”