Skills warning on defence firm cuts

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Union leaders have voiced concern over possible job losses at the defence company QinetiQ

Union leaders have expressed “alarm” at plans to axe jobs at defence firm QinetiQ, warning that vital skills are being lost.

Prospect said 126 jobs are at risk of being axed, although the company said it will be fewer than 100, split between sites in Malvern, Worcestershire, and Farnborough in Hampshire.

The union said highly skilled workers are among those facing redundancy.

National officer David Luxton said: “It is yet another example of how cuts to the defence budget ripple through to the private sector.

“QinetiQ has lost around 800 posts in the last 12 months. Skills cannot be turned on or off like a tap. It will have a detrimental effect on future defence capabilities – as well as individuals, families and the local community.”

A company spokesman said: “As previously stated, we face a challenging business environment and our markets – defence, security and aerospace – are likely to remain uncertain for some time, with increasing competitiveness and expected defence cuts.

“We have no choice but to review our cost base as part of a decisive programme of self-help which involves focusing on our strengths and ensuring we are fully aligned with customer needs.

“Following consultation, which will consider voluntary redundancies and/or early retirement, the net reduction is expected to be just under 100.”

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