Sheffield Forgemasters consults on 95 redundancies

Sheffield Forgemasters
Sheffield Forgemasters

Sheffield Forgemasters is consulting on an estimated 95 redundancies as the Covid-19 pandemic stunts industry demand.

Engineering specialist, Sheffield Forgemasters, is consulting on circa 95 redundancies as the Covid-19 pandemic immobilises global markets.

Management at the 200-year-old company said cuts to the workforce are an “unavoidable necessity” in the current economic climate, but remain optimistic about the long-term future of the business.

The industry firm is a key supplier to the UK defence industry.

The redundancies will affect staff across all levels of the business in response to a rapid reduction in throughput of products for steel processing, offshore oil and gas and power generation sectors.

David Bond, chief executive officer at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “The decision to make redundancies has been extremely difficult for us, but staff cuts have become an unavoidable necessity in order to protect the majority of jobs at Sheffield Forgemasters.

“Although our defence work remains unaffected, we have seen a significant downturn for commercial work driven by the pandemic, leaving many areas of our plant well below capacity. Over the short-term, this poses significant operational challenges, which have to be met.”

Under normal trading conditions, commercial contracts make up the majority of Sheffield Forgemasters' throughput in terms of tonnage, alongside core defence work for the UK and US defence industries.

Mr Bond added: “We are hopeful that the 95 projected redundancies can be reduced through voluntary redundancy or via internal re-deployment.

The company is in the process of up-skilling 350 employees through an working initiative as part of its transformation programme to allow for maximum operational flexibility.

This aims to deliver a better trained, multi-skilled workforce operating across the site, with less reliance on fixed departmental teams which will improve productivity and allow the company to make more competitive offerings to customers.

David Bond added: “After a year of consolidation, creating further efficiencies has become more pressing, and the business needs to become much more competitive as we seek to regain commercial contracts within highly contested markets.

“We continue working closely with our largest customers to secure future revenue from our position in the UK defence supply chain and we are seeking out emerging market opportunities in support of the Government's net-zero carbon agenda, including offshore wind-power and the development of Small Modular Reactors for civil nuclear power.

Sheffield Forgemasters

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