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Rolls-Royce confirms locations of first 3,000 UK job losses

Jasper Jolly
Photograph: Rolls Royce/PA

Rolls-Royce has announced the locations of its first 3,000 redundancies in the UK, as the jet-engine manufacturer makes deep cuts to its civil aerospace business in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company last month announced it would cut 9,000 jobs across its global operations because of expectations of lower demand for air travel using its engines for years to come.

The first round of cuts will be carried out through a voluntary redundancy programme in 2020, with the 1,500 jobs at the company’s manufacturing headquarters in Derby and surrounding sites in the east Midlands.

Approximately 700 of the redundancies will be in Inchinnan, near Glasgow, with another 200 at its Barnoldswick site in Lancashire, and 175 in Solihull, Warwickshire. There will be smaller cuts at Rotherham, Washington, Denby, Bristol, Ansty near Coventry and London Heathrow.

The Rolls-Royce chief executive, Warren East, suggested last month that about two-thirds of the 9,000 job cuts would fall in the UK, with another 3,000 redundancies expected in 2021.

Before the job cuts were announced, Rolls-Royce employed 52,000 staff globally. As well as making and servicing commercial jet engines, it also makes fighter jet and ship engines in addition to reactors for nuclear submarines. However, it said there would be no job losses at its defence business.

A Rolls-Royce spokeswoman said: “Offering voluntary severance is an important step as we resize our business to adapt to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry.”

She added: “We will unfortunately lose people who have worked hard to establish our world-leading position.”

The Unite union’s national officer for the aerospace sector, Rhys McCarthy, said: “Today’s announcement by Rolls-Royce is another warning sign that the UK is in serious danger of losing its leading position in aerospace, in addition to losing thousands of skilled jobs.”

The union also called for the UK government to give investment at levels “last seen in the postwar period” with a focus on new, environmentally friendly technologies.

Rolls-Royce and Airbus have already cancelled their EFan-X programme to develop electric-powered aircraft.
 
McCarthy said: “The UK needs to develop a survival and recovery strategy that includes an aircraft scrappage scheme so that more environmentally friendly aircraft, wings and engines that the UK produces can be brought into service by airlines.”