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Rolls-Royce: Job cuts will not affect engine commitments

Rolls-Royce is insisting that plans to slash 4,600 positions over the next two years will not cut the capabilities it needs to handle its engine ramp-up programmes.

The manufacturer is increasing Trent XWB production for the Airbus A350, and builds the Trent 7000 for the new A330neo, while continuing to produce the Trent 1000 for the Boeing 787, the Trent 900 for the A380 and Trent 700 for the A330.

Rolls-Royce says the cuts will reduce management complexity, including within the engineering operation, and create a "much simpler, healthier and dynamic" organisation.

The job cuts, mainly in the UK where most of its corporate and support functions are located, will cost £500 million over 2018-20 but save around £400 million annually by the end of 2020.

One-third of the job cuts will take place this year.

"We do not anticipate that the restructuring will lead to any reduction in the skills and capabilities that we require to support our current programmes," says Rolls-Royce.

It says it will continue to support the ramp-up of engine production within its civil aerospace division and "remain focused" on managing the technical problems affecting Trent 1000s.

"During the restructuring process we will ensure that we continue to deliver on our commitments to customers," the company adds.

It says it will "honour" previous commitments for no compulsory redundancies of represented staff, including those at its Derby, Hucknall and Annesley locations, agreements which enabled the company to invest in new civil aerospace facilities.

"We have made progress in improving our day-to-day operations and strengthening our leadership, and are now turning to reduce the complexity that often slows us down and leads to duplication of effort," says chief executive Warren East.

"It is never an easy decision to reduce our workforce, but we must create a commercial organisation that is as world-leading as our technologies."

Rolls-Royce says it has built a "commanding position" in its core civil aerospace market, and has recently broadened its line with the new Pearl engine for the business aircraft sector.

It has over 2,700 orders for aircraft engines and is aiming to raise production to 600 large engines per year by around 2020.

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