Rolls-Royce safeguards 7,000 UK jobs after announcing £150m investment

The investment is the firm’s biggest in the UK for more than a decade and is welcomed as a vote of confidence in the economy.

Engine maker Rolls-Royce is investing £150m in UK aerospace facilities in a move that will safeguard more than 7,000 jobs, reports Sky News.

It is the Derby-based group’s biggest single investment in the UK for more than a decade.

The announcement was welcomed by the Government amid fears that some companies are putting off decisions due to Brexit uncertainty.

Rolls-Royce said it was investing over the next few years in new and existing facilities across the East Midlands.

It is creating a new facility in Derby for testing large aero engines, resulting in up to 200 jobs, while plans to close a precision machining facility in the town have been scrapped, saving 150 jobs that had previously been at risk.

The announcement is part of the global group’s plans to double engine production and follows months of talks with unions.

They have agreed workers can help train new staff who will be based in Germany and elsewhere, in return for a guarantee, covering 7,000 East Midlands-based employees, of no compulsory redundancies over the next five years.

Eric Schulz, Rolls-Royce president for civil aerospace, said: “With this investment, we are creating the capacity and flexibility to deliver on our goals, while committing to sustain employment in the UK.”

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “This announcement underpins the critical role the UK plays within the global aerospace sector.

“I welcome the confidence the company is showing in the UK.

“This is just the investment our modern industrial strategy is looking to attract.”

Unite national officer Ian Waddell said: “There were real fears that future investment could go overseas, but thanks to the skills, capabilities and adaptability of Rolls-Royce’s UK workforce, thousands of jobs have been secured.”

Rolls-Royce has been undergoing major restructuring amid a string of profit warnings. The company employs 22,000 people in the UK.

Earlier this year it reported its biggest ever annual loss, slumping into the red by £4.6bn for 2016 thanks to a huge accounting writedown caused by the collapse in the pound since the Brexit vote.

Meanwhile it has agreed to pay out £671m to settle bribery and corruption probes in the UK, US and Brazil, including a record £497m penalty from Britain’s Serious Fraud Office.