80 IT jobs to go at As­traZeneca

Macclesfield Express - - TOWN CENTRE FACELIFT - KAREN BRIT­TON

EIGHTY jobs will be lost at As­traZeneca’s Hurds­field site as part of a shake-up at the firm.

The phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany has con­firmed to the Ex­press that the 400 staff work­ing in its IT hub will be cut to 320 by the end of next year.

The cuts are hap­pen­ing as part of a re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of the firm’s IT op­er­a­tions glob­ally.

The em­ploy­ees are part of a work­force of more than 3,000 peo­ple, mak­ing it Mac­cles­field’s largest em­ployer.

The plant which opened in 1966 and makes and distributes medicines is As­traZeneca’s sec­ond largest site in Europe.

A spokesman for the firm said As­traZeneca is com­mit­ted to keep­ing an IT hub in Mac­cles­field.

He said: “We con­firm that as part of the re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of the global IT function there will be a ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion of IT ser­vices in a num­ber of our lo­ca­tions.

“Re­gret­tably this does im­pact on roles and jobs, with the large ma­jor­ity of per­son­nel ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion borne by a re­duc­tion of con­trac­tor and 3rd party sub-con­trac­tor per­son­nel.

“How­ever, there will also be a re­duc­tion of full­time As­traZeneca em­ploy­ees in the IT function. We are en­gag­ing with all em­ploy­ees who may be im­pacted and nat­u­rally those con­ver­sa­tions are con­fi­den­tial. It is an­tic­i­pated this head­count re­duc­tion be com­pleted by the end of 2017.

“As­traZeneca is com­mit­ted to treat­ing its em­ploy­ees fairly and act­ing in ac­cor­dance with all rel­e­vant leg­isla­tive and reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments.

“As­traZeneca is fully com­mit­ted to Mac­cles­field as a hub site for IT em­ploy­ees and the de­vel­op­ment of its Ap­pren­tice and Grad­u­ate pro­gramme is tes­ta­ment to this.”

Re­cent in­vest­ment has in­cluded a £120 mil­lion up­grade to medicines pro­duc­tion, £60 mil­lion on a new ware­house and pack­ing hall due in 2017 and £20m on new of­fices.

The news comes a week af­ter the firm held a spe­cial lunch with lo­cal dig­ni­taries, as fea­tured in the Ex­press, to cel­e­brate the 50th an­niver­sary of the Hurds­field plant.

A reader who called the Ex­press con­cerned about the job cuts but wanted to re­main anony­mous, said: “Every­one in the depart­ment is very wor­ried.

“It’s a big cut to the depart­ment.

“It was bad tim­ing for the staff to hear about the job cuts when the com­pany was say­ing how ev­ery­thing is won­der­ful on its 50th an­niver­sary.”

Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley said: “The Mac- cles­field site con­tin­ues to be a vi­tally im­por­tant strate­gic pri­or­ity for As­traZeneca as we can see from the re­cent £200m in­vest­ment.

“There are 3,000 em­ploy­ees and the site alone ac­counts for 1pc of all the goods ex­ported from the coun­try. This is tes­ta­ment to the highly skilled work­force at the site.

“It’s sad that there are cost sav­ings be­ing made in the IT depart­ment and jobs lost but it needs to be seen in the wider strat­egy to cre­ate a sus­tain­able fu­ture at the Mac­cles­field site for decades to come.”

●● As­traZeneca’s Hurds­field site, where 400 staff work at the firm’s IT hub

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