Pendle MP calls on Rolls-Royce to protect local workers following raft of job cuts

Andrew Stephenson MP on a visit to Rolls-Royce, Barnoldswick, in July 2018
Andrew Stephenson MP on a visit to Rolls-Royce, Barnoldswick, in July 2018

Pendle's MP has called on major local employer Rolls-Royce to protect jobs at its site after a number of redundancies so far this year.

Andrew Stephenson was speaking as the engineering giant published its Half Year results, which showed improved performance, despite a number of jobs cuts at its Barnoldswick sites.

Whilst Rolls-Royce has recently invested more than £100m, at the sites, significant falls in the demand for components made there is having a big impact with further job losses announced earlier this year.

We reported in June that the company was making a further 102 employees redundant from its Barnoldswick sites.

Mr Stephenson served as the Aerospace Minister under Theresa May before being appointed to the Foreign Office last month by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

He said: “We remain in uncertain times for local Rolls-Royce workers and their families. I remain deeply concerned by the number of redundancies made by the company in recent years and will do whatever I can to protect jobs in Barnoldswick.

"Rolls-Royce has assured me previously that there is a long-term future for their local sites and their recent level of investment is welcome. However, we need to see these sites gaining more work going forward, especially components for the future generation of engines, to ensure more job security for Pendle residents.

“I have spoken to the chief executive of Rolls-Royce, Warren East, about the Barnoldswick sites. I also meet regularly with the trade union representatives. Following the change in Business Secretary in the recent reshuffle I met with the new Secretary of State Andrea Leadsom and have raised the needs of Barnoldswick with her.

"I will continue to put forward Pendle’s business needs to ministerial colleagues and hope Rolls-Royce nationally see that our area has the talent, skill and motivation that is truly worthy of investment.”

Speaking about the Half Year results, a spokesman for the company said: "The 2019 Half Year Statement demonstrates the further progress we have made in the first six months of 2019 towards both our full year guidance and our mid-term ambitions.

"We have delivered good revenue and operating profit growth and our free cash outflow in H1 reflects the typical seasonal outflow as we outlined in our trading update in May.

"We have maintained our full year guidance of underlying core operating profit and core free cash flow of £700m +/- £100m and expect a significant improvement in cash in the second half of the year as we unwind inventory built up to support customer deliveries and benefit from improved trading."