BAE to shed 642 UK posts as orders fall

BAE Systems announced last night that it plans to axe 642 jobs in the UK over the next two years, blaming a reduction in its workload.

The cuts will be made in its Integrated Systems Technologies (Insyte) arm across eight of the company's sites. The latest job losses take the total of posts cut at the defence group to almost 2,300 for the year, as it faces a shrinking pipeline of work.

Unions expressed concern last night at the latest redundancies. "The staff at Insyte produce cutting-edge technology, these are highly skilled jobs which the UK can not afford to lose," said the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions' general secretary Hugh Scullion.

BAE employs 105,000 across the world, with about a third of those based in the UK, across 80 sites. The group's plant in Broadoak, near Portsmouth, will bear the brunt of the losses with 220 posts earmarked for redundancy. Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, will lose 125 jobs, and Frimley, in Surrey, will see 99 positions cut.

"We have a responsibility to address a reduction in our forecast workload and manage our cost base to remain competitive and meet our customers' future requirements," said Insyte's managing director, Rory Fisher. "We will work with our employees and their representatives to explore ways of mitigating these potential job losses."

In September, the company announced 1,116 job cuts as a result of the closure of the Woodford Aerodrome, the home of the Lancaster Bomber, which will shut its gates in 2012.

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