Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Thursday 12th November, 2015
British defence industry giant BAE Systems has announced that it will cut up to 371 jobs from its workforce as it looks to slow down production of its Typhoon fighter jets.
The value of sales of BAE’s military jets is expected to fall from around £1.3 billion to £1.1 billion from 2015 to 2016, which has prompted the company to reduce the scale of its workforce.
A majority of the job losses are expected to hit BAE’s Samlesbury production facility in Lancashire, where there are currently close to 13,000 people employed.
The company has said that it will be making efforts to avoid the need for compulsory redundancies by trying to find opportunities elsewhere in its business for staff whose jobs are in jeopardy.
“Overall the company is operating in an improving business environment and we continue to win new orders, with good prospects for the future,” said BAE’s chief executive Ian King, in a statement issued alongside his company’s half-year trading report.
Further statements in the report detailed the company’s plans: “To ensure production continuity at competitive costs over the medium term, actions are being taken to reduce the group’s current Typhoon production rate. As a result, the group is today announcing a proposal to reduce the workforce of the Military Air & Information business by up to 371 roles.”
BAE Systems is a major employer in Lancashire but also in Glasgow, where it was announced in May this year that the company will be investing £100 million to improve and expand its shipyard facilities in Govan and Scotstoun.
“Following an assessment of potential facilities options, we have decided to retain and invest in both of our sites in Glasgow,” a BAE spokesperson said when the announcement was made.
“We will work closely with our trade unions as we prepare the detailed designs to improve and expand our manufacturing facilities, which will mark the most significant investment in the Glasgow shipyards in decades.”
BAE’s staff in Glasgow are working primarily on building sections of aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy but the defence supplier has been struggling to secure orders for its Typhoon jets from Middle East countries, where sliding oil prices have restricted spending budgets in recent months.