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Defence jobs move to be clarified

14 September 08 12:16 GMT

A decision on the future of a Shropshire RAF base which missed out on a £16bn contract is expected to be revealed by the Ministry of Defence.

Hundreds of defence jobs were set to move from RAF Cosford to RAF Athan in south Wales, after the Metrix Consortium won the contract last year.

However, recently concerns have been raised about whether the plans were affordable amid rising costs.

The MoD said the move will go ahead and is set to clarify its position soon.

It was expected to give more details on Thursday, although its official announcement may not now be made until 23 September.

The Metrix Consortium won the major defence-training deal with the MoD in January 2007 beating a rival bid from RAF Cosford.

Following a review of defence training needs, Defence Secretary Des Browne said it would set up a new armed forces tri-service centre at RAF Athan which would create about 5,000 jobs.

However, in recent months, doubts have been raised about whether the Metrix plans were affordable, with the current economic climate being blamed for rising costs.

The future of RAF Cosford's Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering has been unclear since last year's announcement.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has contested the decision and fought to keep the defence jobs in Shropshire.

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