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More action needed to help Brough BAE staff: Civitas

BAE Systems needs to attract other businesses to help workers facing redundancy at its East Yorkshire site, according to a new report by Civitas.

The think-tank group spent three months analysing the potential of the Brough plant.

BAE announced plans in September to cut nearly 900 posts at its Brough site to maintain its competitiveness.

The defence contractor welcomed the Civitas report and said it had "considered fully" its recommendations.

Last month the firm said 54 technical and engineering jobs would be saved.

Consultations are continuing over plans to cut 845 posts at Brough together with almost 1,400 at BAE sites in Warton and Samlesbury, Lancashire.

'Highly skilled'

In the report, Civitas suggested the redundancies at Brough could be mitigated if BAE was prepared to do more to attract other businesses to the site. But it warned that time was running out.

It described the workforce as "highly skilled" and an "asset to any company" wanting to set up production facilities.

Civitas said it had already had positive discussions with several engineering and aerospace companies about investing in the Brough factory, though nothing had been confirmed as definite.

This included early talks with Siemens, which is planning to build a turbine factory in Hull.

It said: "If at least one 'large corporate' can be secured, this would act as a magnet in encouraging other companies to follow."

The report also stated that BAE is co-operating with efforts to bring in investment.

However, decisions by the firm to move specialised equipment out of the factory and a proposal to sell some of the land for housing will not help to attract aerospace companies to the site, Civitas said.

'Unrestricted access'

According to Civitas, redundancies in Brough could start as soon as mid-2012 and as a result, there would be "a small window of opportunity for the proposals to be implemented".

In a statement, a BAE Systems spokesperson said: "We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Civitas on its research and have provided them with unrestricted access to our data and unlimited access to our people and facilities.

"BAE Systems welcomes Civitas's recognition of the skills of our Brough workforce.

"Civitas recognises that there is insufficient work to maintain manufacturing capability at our three factories. We would like to thank Civitas for its report which we have considered fully."

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