Rolls-Royce to axe 2,600 jobs but Scots roles safe

Rolls-Royce is planning to cut 2,600 jobs over the next 18 months. Picture: PA

Rolls-Royce is planning to cut 2,600 jobs over the next 18 months. Picture: PA

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ENGINEERING heavyweight Rolls-Royce has unveiled plans to cut 2,600 roles over the coming 18 months, but its Scottish workforce is expected to be spared the axe.

The group, which employs 2,400 people across six locations north of the Border, did not divulge where the roles would be lost but hopes to achieve the cutbacks through voluntary redundancies where possible.

Chief executive John Rishton said: “We are taking determined management action and accelerating our progress on cost.

“The measures will not be the last, however they will contribute towards Rolls-Royce becoming a stronger and more profitable company.”

The company has a global workforce of about 55,200, of whom 24,800 are in the UK. A spokesman said the job losses would mainly affect administrative, managerial and engineering staff at its aerospace division. Rolls has already announced plans to close its East Kilbride plant next year and transfer production to Inchinnan, where 200 job losses were announced in January after challenging market conditions resulted in “limited opportunities” to bring in new work.

Last month, the firm said that it expects profits in 2015 will be up to 3 per cent lower as customers delay or cancel orders due to worsening economic conditions. The planned job losses are aimed at saving about £80m a year, but will trigger restructuring costs of £120m over the next two years.

The group also said yesterday that chief financial officer Mark Morris has decided to leave after 27 years’ service and has been replaced with immediate effect by David Smith, who was previously finance chief at its aerospace business.

Smith, a former chief executive at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The company is well positioned in long-term growth markets, but we need to accelerate progress on our priorities: customer, concentration, cost and cash – most especially cost.”

Rolls, the world’s second-largest engine maker behind General Electric, serves airlines, armed forces and energy customers in more than 120 countries.

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