Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008

Rolls-Royce plans 2,000 job cuts

Rolls-Royce aeroplane engine
Rolls has been hit by delays to new aircraft at Airbus and Boeing

Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce has said it plans to cut up to 2,000 jobs in 2009 because of the downturn and delays to new Airbus and Boeing planes.

The firm also said it was in talks about a planned cut of 140 jobs at its Assembly and Test facility in Derby.

Rolls employs about 39,000 people worldwide, with 60% in the UK, but it did not say where jobs might be lost.

Defence giant BAE Systems also announced job cuts in Newcastle, Leeds, Leicester, Barrow and Telford.

The company is cutting up to 200 jobs in its combat vehicles business, blaming a fall in workload in the Ministry of Defence's programmes.

BAE Systems said that a voluntary redundancy programme had been launched.

Uncertainties and delays

Announcing the job cuts, Rolls-Royce said it was responding to the global economic slowdown and delays to projects by Airbus and Boeing.

"Rolls-Royce has been reviewing the possible impact of current economic uncertainties, delays on individual programmes, such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787, and the benefits of the group's continuing focus on efficiency," it said.

It was announced at the beginning of November that Boeing would delay the first flight of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft until 2009, having previously aimed to get it off the ground before the end of 2008.

Last week, the head of the European aerospace group EADS said there was a possibility deliveries of some Airbus A380 super-jumbo aircraft may be delayed by one year until 2010.

Cost focus

Rolls-Royce said it wanted to give its employees "an early indication of the likely scale" of the job cuts in 2009.

"We are determined to to maintain our focus on cost reduction and competitiveness as the world economy enters a challenging period," said Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce's chief executive.

The company announced in January it would cut 2,300 jobs during 2008.

"To minimise compulsory redundancies, the group reduced its temporary workforce and, where possible, relied on voluntary severance, natural attrition and avoided recruitment," it said.

It plans "to adopt a similar approach in 2009."

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Unions said they fear more jobs could go in the future



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