Prince Andrew visits Portsmouth Naval Base

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THE Duke of York has praised the Royal Navy for the way it trains its workforce after officially opening a new education centre at Portsmouth Naval Base.

Prince Andrew unveiled a plaque at the Waterfront Education and Resettlement Centre and spoke to servicemen and women already benefiting from the facility.

21/03/13  SB''Prince Andrew, The Duke of York opens the new education and resettlement centre for sailors at Portsmouth naval base.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (13807-3)

21/03/13 SB''Prince Andrew, The Duke of York opens the new education and resettlement centre for sailors at Portsmouth naval base.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (13807-3)

The centre, which is housed in a refurbished former library near HMS Victory, has 26 computers for e-learning courses, free internet access, dedicated tutor rooms and offices for staff.

It replaces a similar facility in the base which could only accommodate 15 sailors.

After speaking to sailors about their experiences, he praised the assembled staff for their hard work.

Prince Andrew said: ‘Having a deep and passionate interest in education and skills for young people, it’s extremely pleasing to see how the Royal Navy has taken up the challenge of delivering education and training to not only its current workforce but also its future workforce.

‘I’m also pleased the navy is not beyond looking outside itself and has worked closely with the army to bring a new learning system into the Royal Navy and actually prove that it works.

‘It has really encouraged me that young people and older people within the service have the opportunity to do a great deal of learning and find out about themselves.’