BAE's Brough base 'walking to cliff edge' as 230 could lose jobs in next year
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 5 Mar 2019
The boss of BAE in Brough has admitted the business is “walking towards a cliff edge,” with more than 200 jobs set to go within a year if a new contract is not secured soon.
Dave Corfield, site director, said time is running out to secure a new Hawk jet contract, as the aerospace giant completes its final few planes for the Qatari Air Force.
It has been almost 18 months since 400 job losses at BAE in Brough were announced, with the majority set to go at an alarming rate from the end of September if no new Hawk orders are made.
If a new contract is not found within the next six months, a total of 230 jobs are expected to be lost at the East Yorkshire site over the next year. More than 70 would be lost before the end of 2019, followed by 81 in the first quarter of 2019, and another 68 by June 2020.
BAE in Brough is hunting for a new Hawk jet contract (BAE)
But Mr Corfield said he remained hopeful a new Hawk order would be found.
“It feels like we are slowly walking towards the edge of a cliff, and if by the time we get there we don’t have anything to step onto, there is only one way you go.
“The Government is doing everything it can to help us secure a new Hawk order. Last year Qatar signed up for nine additional Hawks, and we are now entering the final stages of that contract.
“We have been downsizing the manufacturing operation over the last year, with people leaving on a voluntary basis, or moving to another site at BAE.”
BAE in Brough currently employs around 770 people. Of those, 400 are in the engineering sector, with 260 in manufacturing.
Brough is currently responsible to all engineering work undertaken on the Hawk planes, with just under half of manufacturing on the fighter jet also done at the site.
Hawk aircraft are currently used by air forces in 18 countries, with 650 in service.
The job losses, first announced by BAE in October 2017, are on the assumption no Hawk orders are achieved once the current contract with the Qatar Emiri Air Force is completed.
BAE has sites across the country, including Brough and Lancashire (PA)
Mr Corfield said: “Our industry has always been based around confidence.
“We had confidence that Qatar would place the extra Hawk order. Moving forwards, it is about whether we have the belief that more orders will come in.
“By the end of September, we need to secure some more work.”
Last month, a host of the region’s MPs met with BAE’s chief executive Charles Woodburn to discuss the future of the Brough site.
David Davis MP, whose Haltemprice and Howden constituency is home to the factory, and Hull MP Emma Hardy both called on Mr Woodburn to meet them in Brough to discuss securing the future of manufacturing jobs at the historic aerodrome.