Rolls-royce swings axe to cut costs

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - BUSINESS - Holly wil­liams

Around 4,600 jobs are be­ing axed at Rolls-royce in the lat­est re­struc­tur­ing as the engi­neer­ing gi­ant looks to slash costs by another £400 mil­lion a year.

The group said the bulk of th­ese job cuts would af­fect the UK work­force and would be made over the next two years.

Rolls said the over­haul, which fol­lows its an­nounce­ment in Jan­uary that it plans to slash its five oper­at­ing busi­nesses to three core units, will im­pact sup­port func­tions and man­age­ment, in­clud­ing within engi­neer­ing.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Warren East said: “We have made progress in im­prov­ing our day-to-day op­er­a­tions and strength­en­ing our lead­er­ship, and are now turn­ing to re­duce the com­plex­ity that of­ten slows us down and leads to du­pli­ca­tion of ef­fort.

“It is never an easy de­ci­sion to re­duce our work­force, but we must cre­ate a com­mer­cial or­gan­i­sa­tion that is as world-lead­ing as our tech­nolo­gies.”

Rolls-royce in­sisted it would hon­our a pre­vi­ous pledge not to im­pose com­pul­sory re­dun­dan­cies on union rep­re­sented staff, in­clud­ing at its sites in Derby, Huck­nall and An­nes­ley.

This is the largest re­duc­tion in the com­pany’s head­count since 2001, when it an­nounced plans to re­duce 5,000 jobs, plus 1,000 con­trac­tors, which at the time was around 12% of the work­force.

Over­all, Rolls-royce has 55,000 em­ploy­ees world­wide, of whom 26,000 are in the UK, the bulk of which are based in Derby. It em­ploys around 19,400 engi­neers. Unite union as­sis­tant gen­eral sec­re­tary Steve Turner said: “There is a real dan­ger that Rolls-royce will cut too deep and too fast with th­ese jobs cuts, which could ul­ti­mately dam­age the smooth run­ning of the com­pany and see vi­tal skills and ex­pe­ri­ence lost.”

Rolls said its group-wide re­vamp will see it shift away from oper­at­ing with “over­lap­ping ac­tiv­i­ties be­tween in­di­vid­ual busi­ness units and a large cor­po­rate cen­tre”.

A spokesman for the UK Gov­ern­ment said: “The gov­ern­ment is in reg­u­lar con­tact with Rolls-royce on its plans to re­duce its back of­fice and sup­port func­tions work­force as a re­sult of its re­struc­tur­ing pro­gramme.

“This is clearly an un­cer­tain time for af­fected em­ploy­ees and their fam­i­lies and Job­cen­tre Plus Rapid Re­sponse stands ready to help peo­ple back into em­ploy­ment as soon as pos­si­ble.

“Rolls-royce con­tin­ues to in­vest in its UK op­er­a­tions, most re­cently with an ad­di­tional £150 mil­lion in a new large engine test-bed fa­cil­ity in Derby, po­si­tion­ing it to grow fur­ther and sup­port in­creased engine pro­duc­tion to de­liver on its record or­der book.”

A Rolls-royce tech­ni­cian works on an aero engine.

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