Rolls-Royce cuts staff and invests in technology to improve efficiency

Rolls-Royce has announced 2,600 job losses over the next 18 months, saying that the move, with investment in technology, will help it to improve efficiency.

The announcement was made just a week after the manufacturer revealed it will be deploying new HR systems from Workday, which is likely to give the firm better insight into its reduced workforce.

“The investment we have made in technology and new capacity, alongside the organisational changes we have made to simplify the group, have enabled us to increase output and improve efficiency,” Rolls-Royce said in a statement this week.

Most of the redundancies will occur in Rolls-Royce’s aerospace division, but the manufacturer did not confirm if UK staff will be affected. It employs 55,000 staff in 45 countries.

Rolls-Royce’s aerospace division is also where the company is planning to deploy Workday’s HR system, Human Capital Management in the Workday cloud.

Workday said previously: “Rolls-Royce needed an HR system that could support future business plans. By moving HR to the Workday cloud, Rolls-Royce will gain the agility and speed it needs to support continued growth and the ability to access and analyse real-time workforce data for better decision making.”

Future redundancies

Consequently, there is an opportunity for Rolls-Royce to use the Workday technology to plan further staff reductions, as Rolls-Royce CEO John Rishton warned that “the measures announced today will not be the last”.

Unite the union has warned that Rolls-Royce is in danger of hollowing out its skills base and could see vital engineering expertise lost to the UK aerospace industry.

The trade union’s national officer Ian Waddell said: “Rolls-Royce is danger of making decisions in the short-term that it will later regret.

“We will be seeking guarantees over no compulsory redundancies and seeking assurances that the company doesn’t turn to casual labour to plug the skills cap in the future, or seek to offshore skilled UK jobs.

HM Revenue & Customs(HMRC) recently appointed Simon Ricketts, the former CIO of Rolls-Royce, as one of two new non-executive directors.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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