MORE than 50 people have taken redundancy at a helicopter repair firm after jobs were put under threat.
The 55 Sea King workers at Vector Aerospace at Fleetlands, off Fareham Road, in Gosport, have taken voluntary redundancy.
Another 52 people working on that type of helicopter have moved to work on different aircraft at Fleetlands.
Just 35 people are still working on the Sea King helicopter, with that work due to finish by the middle of next year.
Pat Breslin is a regional organiser for Unite union.
He has been negotiating with the firm since it said it needed to reduce its workforce as the helicopter is being phased out.
He told The News: ‘The redundancy situation was actually not too bad.
‘Everybody who wanted to leave was allowed to leave.
‘We’re going through switching people from certain positions to other positions with no loss of pay.
‘At the moment we haven’t got too many concerns.
‘Anybody who wants to stay will keep their job and anybody who wants to go will be allowed to go.’
As reported, the firm said it needed to look at its workforce following a ‘fall-off’ in work maintaining, repairing and supporting the Ministry of Defence’s fleet.
Its announcement came late in November last year, weeks after BAE Systems said it would be ending shipbuilding at Portsmouth dockyard, with the loss of 940 jobs, ahead of a switch to the Clyde in Scotland.
A spokesman for Vector Aerospace said it hopes to keep on as many of the 35 who are working on Sea King after the platform is discontinued.
He said: ‘Our intention and desire would be to retain as many as possible.
‘This will be contingent on matching their skills and experience against new jobs that we plan on creating over the next 12 months.’
Vector employs around 1,000 people on the site.
Ward councillors at Gosport Borough Council had warned job losses could have a knock-on effect to the local economy.