GKN Aerospace will lose 1,000 jobs worldwide

GKN Aerospace is to shed 1,000 jobs worldwide as part of a restructuring that it said pre-dated its controversial £8bn takeover by Melrose, which secured the government’s blessing for the deal after promising to invest in the business.

The company, based in Redditch, Worcestershire, said it needed to cut jobs to simplify the business, which grew after a series of acquisitions, leading to duplication of roles in the 15 countries where it operates.

It is not yet clear how many UK roles will be affected but the company plans to cut 1,000 staff from a global workforce of 18,000, of which 3,500 are in the UK.

GKN Aerospace is part of the larger GKN engineering group bought by takeover and turnaround business Melrose after a hostile bid last year.

Melrose promised to keep GKN’s headquarters and stock market listing in the UK, after the government stepped in to seek binding assurances.

It has since been accused of a “breach of faith” by MPs, after revealing plans to shut the King’s Norton factory in Birmingham, which makes windscreens and windows for both civilian and military aircraft, at the cost of 170 jobs.

But GKN Aerospace said its restructuring plan pre-dated the takeover by Melrose and was part of a longstanding plan to combine its four divisions into one.

Its chief executive, Hans Büthker, said: “We are creating a single, fully integrated business aligned to our customers’ needs, which will ensure we are better positioned within the competitive global aerospace market.”

The company said the 1,000 job cuts would take place over two years and it will try to minimise the impact by redeploying staff and not filling any vacancies that arise.

“Looking ahead, when this restructure is complete, we will be simpler, stronger and more successful,” said Büthker.

GKN Aerospace’s UK workforce of 3,500 makes it the company’s second most well-staffed market, after the US, where it has more than 5,000 staff.