BAE reduces staff cuts by half using key taskforce

BAE’s HR director on the Clyde has helped reduce the 1,000 planned
compulsory redundancies at the firm by almost half.

Susan Binnersley has been a key figure in a taskforce which was set up to try
and minimise the number of job losses after BAE Systems Marine announced the
redundancies at its Clyde shipbuilding operation in June.

Binnersley told Personnel Today that a combination of voluntary
redundancies, retraining and re-profiling has reduced the number of job losses
to around 520 with none expected until January 2002.

She said, "We have been quite successful in terms of re-profiling the
workforce and moving staff into our defence operations across Scotland.

"We have also launched a retraining programme for people to work on the
type 45 destroyer contract which enters the build phase in 2003.

"In addition, we have developed some high quality employee support
centres which, with the encouragement of the unions, has led to a large number
of people seeking advice and counselling for support to seek other job
opportunities in the Clyde and Glasgow area."

The Clyde Taskforce, established by Scottish Enterprise Minister Wendy
Alexander, and comprising BAE management, unions, government officials and
local enterprise staff is due to produce its final report by mid-December with
its final meeting being held on 7 December.

The taskforce sought advice and help from the Motorola taskforce which had
earlier achieved some considerable success in redeploying many of its staff.

She explained, "It was useful to get an idea of what had worked for
Motorola and benchmark best practice and I think we learned a lot from
it."

By Colin Wright

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