Uncertain times for Rolls-Royce workers at Barnoldswick

Rolls-Royce, Barnoldswick
Rolls-Royce, Barnoldswick

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has sought further assurances about jobs at Rolls-Royce’s two Barnoldswick sites, following rumours of further redundancies.

He has also secured a commitment from the Secretary of State for Business, Andrea Leadsom, that she will visit Barnoldswick soon.

The company has suffered job losses already this year, with 102 redundancies announced in June. These were all voluntary but concerns about further redundancies have remained.

READ MORE: More than 100 more jobs to be shed from Rolls-Royce in Barnoldswick

The company's chief executive Warren East wrote to Mr Stephenson where he revealed that the Barnoldswick site had faced challenges in meeting customer schedules and remaining competitive as productivity levels had required improvement.

Mr East went on to say that the local team had continued to bid internally for work, although site performance remained a challenge in securing new work. He also admitted that the Barnoldswick site was not currently equipped to undertake engine service work and would need "significant capital investment and skills retraining".

However, the chief executive added that the group was in talks with the trade unions over a workforce planning group, which would look at options for placing such work including at Barnoldswick.

Mr Stephenson said: “I have been urging Rolls-Royce to provide clarity to workers, in the run up to Christmas. Rolls has invested heavily in the two sites in recent years but after recent job losses, it is important to understand the company’s plans.

“There are challenges at the two Rolls-Royce sites in Barnoldswick that need to be addressed. I look forward to working with the company, trade union representatives and the Government to ensure the site has a bright future in the long-term.”

In a letter to Mr Stephenson, Mrs Leadsom said: "Officials have spoken to Rolls-Royce about the plans for the Barnoldswick facility, and whilst it is recognised that the facility is facing productivity challenges and also a reduction in workload, officials were assured that there is ongoing work to identify opportunities for further efficiencies and savings.

"Rolls-Royce has invested almost £160m. in the site over the last five years which is another example of its commitment to the facility."