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Rolls-Royce to cut 700 jobs at Renfrewshire plant

By Douglas Fraser
Business and economy editor, Scotland

image copyrightReuters
image captionRolls-Royce is expected to cut 700 jobs from its Renfrewshire plant based on the reduced workload

Rolls-Royce is expected to cut 700 jobs at its plant in Renfrewshire as part of job losses across the aero-engine company.

The Derby-based firm has begun the process by offering voluntary redundancy to everyone across its UK civil aerospace division.

The firm, which makes aero-engines and power systems for aircraft and military ships, is to shed 9,000 jobs worldwide.

The figure is around 20% of its workforce.

In Derby and East Midlands job cuts are around 1,500.

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Contracts have fallen steeply with the economic shock from the coronavirus crisis.

The job cuts at its Inchinnan plant, near Glasgow Airport, will mostly affect people who service aero-engines.

Rolls-Royce said it was considering withdrawing its services capability from the site permanently.

A spokeswoman said the company understands this is "a terrible and devastating prospect" for workers and communities affected.

Local SNP MP Gavin Newlands said it should still be possible for all sides, including governments, to help the Inchinnan factory "weather the current economic storm".

image copyrightGoogle
image captionRolls-Royce wants to cut 20% of its workforce

Unite regional officer Debbie Hutchings told BBC Scotland the union had encouraged the firm to use the government's job retention scheme as well as looking at areas where it could diversify.

She warned that as a leading manufacturer Rolls-Royce was "not setting a good example" and that other companies could take similar measures.

Ms Hutchings said: "There can be something more done that will give a more positive and better outcome than the one our members are facing now.

"We've got lots of organisations and manufacturers in Scotland that supply Rolls-Royce so the knock on effect to the Scottish economy is going to be huge. There's no guarantee that when these jobs leave Scotland that they're going to come back."

'Absolutely devastating'

Nicola Sturgeon pledged to work with unions and said that while the government was financially bound to operate within state aid, she would bring together a cross-party "team Scotland" approach to save these jobs "if at all possible".

She added: "The news that workers at Rolls-Royce in Inchinnan have got this morning is absolutely devastating.

"The Scottish government will continue to do everything we possibly can to get a more positive outcome."

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said the employees affected by the announcement were the government's "immediate priority".

He said: "We will offer support to staff through our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (Pace).

"By providing skills development and employability support, Pace aims to minimise the time people affected by redundancy are out of work."

Manufacturing institute

There are a further 550 employees in the manufacturing team at Inchinnan, who will remain in their roles while the company continues its "strategic footprint review of our global facilities".

They are all eligible for voluntary redundancy.

Rolls-Royce is an important part of plans to build up the role of Inchinnan as the centre for Scotland's most advanced manufacturing.

It has links to the materials research centre based there and part-operated by Strathclyde University. It is also a key private sector component of the National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland, soon to be built at Inchinnan, with the construction contract announced in recent days.

Rolls-Royce said its commitment to the institute remains important and is unaffected by the announcement on job losses.

Related Topics

  • Derby
  • Inchinnan
  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
  • Employment

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