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76 redundancies will hit Dorset aviation firm
MORE than 70 job losses have been announced by Cobham, one of Dorset’s biggest employers, as the company “refocuses” its business.
The new blow comes just months after Cobham axed 320 employees – a third of their Christchurch workforce.
The announcement follows speculation by workers earlier this week that more redundancies were expected at the Bournemouth Airport site.
But up until yesterday, Cobham refused to confirm the rumours only saying CEO Peter Nottage would be visiting employees at the airport to hold one of his periodic “state of the business” meetings.
Yesterday, Cobham’s Greg Caires, vice president, media relations, said: “Cobham today informed its staff that it will cease some non-core activities by its aviation services business, and will focus the business on key customers and contracts centred around the UK MoD and other Government and military operations.
“Regretfully, this will result in up to 76 staff redundancies at our Bournemouth and Teesside facilities.
“We will work closely with our people by seeking to redeploy them elsewhere within Cobham, and by providing them assistance with finding alternative employment.”
Peter Watson-Lee, president of Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce said: “This is dreadful news for Christchurch.
“Cobham was one of the area’s biggest employers and the area has already suffered significant redundancies last year when they transferred work to Spain.
“Seventy further redundancies is a significant blow. Each one will affect a local family.
“One really hopes that this is the last such news from Cobham and that some firm reassurances can be giving on the jobs that remain.”
Christchurch MP Chris Chope said: “Obviously every loss of job is a massive blow but we are still lucky that we have got a centre of aerospace manufacturing excellence.
“There is a cluster of lots of firms and I hope that anyone affected will be able to have their skills recognised in alternative employment quickly.”
Last June, the global company axed hundreds of jobs after losing a massive military contract working on Voyager aircraft to Spain.
On Wednesday, the defence and commercial contractor cut 160 jobs from one of its US manufacturing plants in St Petersburg.
Around 120 of the jobs were moved to plants in Iowa and New York.