Airbus set to cut 1,700 UK jobs


Airbus is the latest giant of the aerospace sector to announce plans for thousands of job losses, with up to 1,700 staff facing redundancies in the UK.

Around 134,000 people work for Airbus worldwide, with around a tenth of them in the UK.

Worldwide the company said it plans to cut 15,000 jobs as a result of the coronavirus crisis - 1,700 in the UK, along with thousands more in countries including Germany and Spain.

The UK cuts are expected to fall only on the commercial aircraft division at Airbus's two sites at Broughton in Flintshire and Filton by Bristol. Redundancies could come by summer 2021. The move is subject to talks with unions, which are taking place this week.

The Unite union has opposed compulsory redundancies and described the plans as 'another act of industrial vandalism' against the UK aerospace sector.

Airbus said it hopes the majority of redundancies will be voluntary or through early retirement of staff.

More details of how and where the job losses could come are expected at the end of the week after talks with unions.

Unite revealed it expected 1,116 manufacturing jobs and 611 office-based jobs to go, shrinking Airbus's UK workforce by 15%.

Jim McMahon MP, Labour's Shadow transport secretary, said: 'Thousands of jobs have been under threat of redundancy, with staff, the sector and politicians of all sides urging the Government to act, yet Tory ministers have been found wanting.

'Labour has consistently called for an extension to the furlough in the most impacted industries, and a sectoral deal that supports the whole aviation industry including securing jobs and protecting the supply chain, while continuing to press for higher environmental standards.'

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: 'This is a challenging time for the aerospace sector as a whole and very disappointing news for the hard-working and talented team at Filton.

'I have asked my officers at the West of England Combined Authority to bring together and lead a multi-agency rapid redundancy response – involving government departments including DWP, employers, education and training providers and unions – to put together a package of options to help affected staff secure new roles or develop new skills.

'This will include access to a range of programmes managed by the Combined Authority such as Future Bright, the emerging Workforce for the Future, the Adult Education Budget and signposting via the Growth Hub. I have also begun conversations with Talent Retention Solutions to explore developing a regional business-to-business platform to help workers find alternative employment and retraining opportunities.'

Mr Bowles highlighted that the West of England Combined Authority had invested in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing sector and is leading a bid for the whole of the South West to run a Made Smarter programme to support the resilience and adaptation of the supply chain.

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