New IT systems driving Rolls Royce staff cuts

Aircraft engine maker Rolls Royce has said the introduction of more efficient technology-driven processes and systems is driving its decision to cut up to 2,300 jobs globally.

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Aircraft engine maker Rolls Royce has said the introduction of more efficient technology-driven processes and systems is driving its decision to cut up to 2,300 jobs globally.

The company, which also makes marine and energy technology, said in a statement that “the introduction of new process controls and data management systems” meant that there was now "scope to achieve further cost reductions through simplifying the organisation of management, professional and clerical staff”.

The job cuts are part of an ongoing efficiency programme at the firm, for which raw material costs and the weak US dollar were additional drivers.

Rolls Royce said the cuts would affect staff in the UK, where 23,000 of its 39,500 employees work, as well as the US, Germany and the Nordics. A spokesperson would not confirm whether IT staff would be affected.

Mike Terrett, chief operating officer at the firm, said: “We are determined to create a leaner and more agile support structure, better suited to the global markets in which we operate.”

Bernie Hamilton, national officer for aerospace at trade union Unite, said that workers understood the competitive nature of the aerospace sector and the effect of the weakened dollar.

But he added: "Unite will do everything it can to help the company remain competitive, recognising that this announcement comes at a time of a healthy order book and recent successes in gaining new orders. Any jobs lost are disappointing but we will not accept any attempt to make compulsory redundancies."

In the last two years Rolls Royce has completed an enterprise-wide SAP implementation programme. It began with the integration of SAP between the civil aerospace and energy divisions of the company, and has become a standard template throughout the organisation.

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