Berkshire

Atomic Weapons Establishment to cut 500 jobs

AWE Aldermaston Image copyright Ivaneol
Image caption Jobs are expected to go at Aldermaston, said the Prospect union

Up to 500 jobs will be lost at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), the company has announced.

The jobs will be cut at the Aldermaston and Burghfield sites in Berkshire, according to the Prospect union.

AWE is responsible for making Britain's Trident nuclear warheads and it also stores nuclear waste from Royal Navy submarines.

The company said it was part of plans focused "on improving and streamlining ways of working".

As well as the two sites in Berkshire, AWE has facilities in Blacknest, Berkshire, and Coulport in Scotland.

It said in a statement: "While the company is committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies where possible, a reduction of roles in some areas and an increase in others is required to ensure long-term efficiencies while meeting overall programme requirements."

Trade union negotiator Richard Tabbner said Prospect would be meeting AWE bosses to discuss the redundancies.

"Prospect is both shocked and disappointed that the company has decided to announce job losses at a time when the regulatory body remains concerned about the shortage of skilled personnel within the company," he said.

"Prospect members within AWE are highly skilled and specialised in the work they undertake."

AWE Management Limited is a consortium of Serco Group plc, the Lockheed Martin Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Group.

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