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BAE job losses: recruiters can play key role in helping affected workers get back into work, say REC

BAE job losses: recruiters can play key role in helping affected workers get back into work, say REC regional directors

Defence company BAE Systems has announced it will be axing 3,000 jobs across the UK with over 1,400 being shed in Lancashire and 900 in east Yorkshire. Such swingeing cuts in the labour force will have a huge impact in both of the most seriously affected regions but recruiters will have a key role in helping the staff, many of whom are specialist skilled workers, find new employment.

Commenting on the redundancies, Mark Hathway, the Yorkshire and Humberside regional director for the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, said:

“The 900 job losses at the Brough site will greatly impact here on the local economy. The majority of the jobs there are taken by workers with specialist manufacturing skills and it will be difficult to absorb these in the present economic climate.

“When redundancies took place in March this year, many workers believed these would be the final efficiency savings and the future for the site was a positive one.”

He said the only possible way back for the staff facing redundancy would be a final decision by Siemens to start the manufacture of wind farms for the North Sea which would create around 10,000 jobs.

Mark Hathway added: “Hopefully, the wind farms will go ahead but even that scheme will not fully absorb the full impact of the BAE Systems’ redundancies in the area in the short term.”

He advised those who were facing redundancy to go and seek assistance from professional recruiters in the area to see what job opportunities were currently available and whether their specialist skills would be easily transferable to any of these.

Commenting on the effect it will have on the Lancashire jobs market, Keith Gallagher, the REC’s North West Regional Director, added: “This is the worst news possible and a significant blow to the region's economy with the cuts also bound to affect firms within the supply chain.”

He added that it is hard to see in the short term where the growth in skilled manufacturing jobs in the North West will come from although they have seen a growing demand in high-tech skills deployed within the regions Nuclear and wider & lsquo;Green Technology’ sector.

Keith Gallagher added: “We certainly cannot allow such high value, well trained and educated workers go to waste and we call on the Government, who want to see a UK Plc growth-led recovery, do all it can to support the new generation of  high-tech engineering companies to expand and absorb these skilled workers.”

Highlighting the impact within the engineering sector, Philip Higgins, Chair of the REC’s Engineering and Technical Group, said: “While the announcement about the job losses is disappointing, I believe there are opportunities for job-seekers in the engineering sector. The north-west engineering market remains, in some sectors, reasonably buoyant.

“An important factor in helping the affected employees find alternative positions is their flexibility in adapting their skills in other sectors and their mobility. Employers, in our experience, are willing to accept skilled workers from comparable industries provided they can demonstrate their willingness to adapt and relocate.”

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