Around 2,000 jobs to go at BAE Systems

Union leaders have called upon the Government to intervene after BAE Systems revealed the full extent of its plans to cut jobs in Lancashire.
A BAE Systems TyphoonA BAE Systems Typhoon
A BAE Systems Typhoon

The Unite union demanded that the Government end the uncertainty for thousands of BAE workers and manufacturing communities across Britain by committing to build the next generation fighter jet here in the UK.

Yesterday the news leaked that the company was planning to cut more than 1,000 jobs, the bulk of which would be at the Warton and Samlesbury sites, due to the slowdown in orders for the Typhoon and Hawk aircraft.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This morning the defence giant issued a trading update to the city which revealed that 2,000 jobs in its military, maritime and intelligence services will be axed under moves to streamline its business and have a "sharper" competitive edge.

The biggest cutback will be in the military air business, with 1,400 jobs set to be axed across five sites over the next three years, including Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire, where the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft assembly takes place.

Jobs will also be cut at Brough in East Yorkshire and at RAF bases in Marham, Norfolk, and Leeming in North Yorkshire.

Around 375 proposed redundancies were announced in BAE's maritime servicing and support business, mainly affecting Portsmouth.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Some jobs will also go from the company's cyber intelligence business in London and Guildford.

BAE is facing an order gap for the Typhoon so production is being slowed ahead of an expected order from Qatar.

Production of the Hawk jet aircraft is ending in the next few years, affecting the Brough site, although Qatar could place a new order which would keep production going until 2020.

Around 400 redundancies are being planned at Brough.

Most of the military air job cuts will go in 2018 and 2019, with some planned for 2020 and BAE said its goal is to achieve as many voluntary redundancies as possible.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

BAE's cyber intelligence business will cut 150 jobs, split between sites in London, Guildford in Surrey, and overseas.

The total number of proposed redundancies is 1,915.

Chief executive Charles Woodburn said: "The organisational changes we are announcing today accelerate our evolution to a more streamlined, de-layered organisation, with a sharper competitive edge and a renewed focus on technology.

"These actions will further strengthen our company as we deliver our strategy in a changing environment."

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “The UK government can end the uncertainty surrounding the future of thousands of British BAE defence jobs at a stroke by committing to building the next generation fighter jets here in the UK.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Ministers should be under no illusion. Once these jobs are gone, they are gone for a generation and with them the skills and ability to control our own defence and manufacture the next generation of fighter jets and other defence equipment in the UK.

“The ripple effects down the supply chain and through our manufacturing communities would be immense too, hitting the workforces in other cutting edge companies that are involved in the manufacture of one of the best fighter jets in the world, as well as depriving communities of decent well paid jobs.

"These planned job cuts will not only undermine Britain's sovereign defence capability, but devastate communities across the UK who rely on these skilled jobs and the hope of a decent future they give to future generations.

"These are world class workers with years of training and expertise on which an additional four jobs rely upon in the supply chain.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The UK government must take back control of our nation's defence and with it, play its part in supporting UK defence manufacturing jobs.

"Too much taxpayers' money earmarked for defence spending is going to factories overseas. By 2020, 25p of every pound spent on UK defence spending will find its way to American factories alone rather than being spent here in the UK.

"This state of affairs is not only hollowing out Britain's sovereign defence capability and British manufacturing, but leaving the nation's defence exposed to the whim of foreign powers and corporate interests.

"The British government can and should do more to defend UK defence jobs by investing in Britain and committing that long-term projects, such as the next generation jet fighter, future support vessels and Type 31e frigate are built here in the UK.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"A failure to do so and take back control of our own defence needs will be a complete betrayal of the Government's primary responsibility to defend our nation and destroy decent jobs, skills and the communities that support them in the process."