250 apprentices at risk of derailment at Bombardier

Around 250 young people will be affected by lost apprenticeships and engineering jobs at Bombardier, a union has warned.

Rail union RMT said the firm will be forced to reduce apprenticeships from the Bombardier Centre of Excellence in Derby, if the Government fails to reverse the decision to send the Thameslink fleet contract overseas.

The news coincided with the end of the statutory ninety day consultation on the loss of 1,400 jobs at Bombardier factory last week, and as the Conservatives held their annual conference.

The union said Bombardier would be forced to reduce apprentices by 15 this year, due to the Thameslink loss, and would recruit 10 per year instead of 20 for the next seven years, with the loss of 85 apprentices in total.

In addition, for the Engineering Centre of Excellence the Thameslink contract would have guaranteed an additional 150 permanent engineers.

Also scrapped would be the commitment with JCB academy to develop future engineers where Bombardier had committed to invest in two students per year for the next three years to further develop skills for the future.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “The Tory Party will be spouting their usual warm words on training and apprenticeships whereas in reality they are on course to destroy career opportunities for a whole generation in Derby through their betrayal of Bombardier.”

However, the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) said they are working with Bombardier to secure employment opportunities at the firm.

Karen Woodward, Divisional Apprenticeship Director (Central), NAS said: “The National Apprenticeship Service is working with Bombardier to ensure that the 200 adult apprentices currently employed by the company are able to complete their Apprenticeships and find alternative employment where possible.

“We are also working to secure training and employment opportunities for the 15 people who were due to start new
Apprenticeships at Bombardier.”