Rolls-Royce to cut up to 250 Derby jobs
ROLLS-Royce has begun negotiations to cut up to 250 jobs in Derby but is bullish that its workforce will grow in the coming year.
Official negotiations began yesterday on cost-cutting measures that will hit support staff rather than those employees designing and manufacturing engines.
Throughout the UK the company is planning to cut 320 positions – with the Sinfin and Bristol sites bearing the brunt.
Union Unite told the Derby Telegraph that between 200 and 250 positions were at risk locally.
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Rolls-Royce, which employs 12,000 people in the city, said that the move was about having a greater proportion of staff directly involved in engineering and frontline production, citing the need to remain competitive.
Staff will be redeployed within the firm or offered voluntary redundancy, but compulsory redundancies have not been ruled out.
Given the company's bulging order book, high share price and large profits, the plans came as a surprise to union representatives.
Tony Tinley, regional officer for Unite, said: "This has pretty much come out of the blue. It's a shock and a disappointment, and we don't believe that it's necessary because the company is making a profit and is highly successful.
"We are working to minimise the number of redundancies and encouraging them to look at other cost-cutting measures."
The overall number of redundancies will depend on the salaries of the employees in question and the process is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
A Rolls-Royce spokesman said: "The number of people employed by Rolls-Royce in Derby will remain constant or grow in the coming year.
"However in order to increase production and to stay competitive the mix of our workforce needs to change with more people in front line engineering and production jobs and fewer in support functions.
"Wherever possible we will redeploy people and will seek to avoid compulsory redundancies. Last year, we recruited more than 300 people onto our graduate schemes and we will recruit more.
"We took on another 300 apprentices and that number will also grow in the year ahead."
The news comes just days after the company announced a £700 million order for its Trent XWB engines and it is expected to announce record results next week.
The Derby plant in Sinfin has a daunting number of Trent XWB engines to get out of the doors, some 1,200 being on order.
Yesterday, the company confirmed that the engine had been certified for airworthiness by the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The certification paves the way for Airbus to fly the new A350-XWB aircraft for the first time this summer.