IBM declares that Portsmouth is still its HQ despite job cuts

IBM's UK headquarters at North Harbour in Portsmouth.
IBM's UK headquarters at North Harbour in Portsmouth.
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TECHNOLOGY giant IBM has insisted it won’t be the next top-name company to leave Portsmouth.

The firm, based at Lakeside North Harbour, said the city premises remains its UK headquarters, despite making redundancies there in recent months and closing two of its four units.

The company has refused to reveal how many workers have been laid off and the reasons why but said the job cuts weren’t the reason for cutting back on office space.

Instead that move was made because more employees are working out of the office so it made sense to bring everyone with a desk still together.

But fears have been raised because BAE Systems has already announced it is sending its shipbuilding division to Scotland by the end of the year, which has put 900 jobs at risk.

Rolls-Royce Marine is also considering closing its Cosham base.

John Ferrett, negotiations officer for Prospect Union, which represents workers for BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce Marine, said the news was an ‘extreme concern’ and called for Minister for Portsmouth Michael Fallon to intervene.

‘It’s an extreme concern and my concern is despite having a minister for Portsmouth employed, we have had job losses in the city and nothing happening in terms of jobs being created.’

Meanwhile, Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said she would contact IBM to see what is going on but remained optimistic.

‘Jobs are actually growing in the area,’ she said.

‘When I took office in 2010 there were eight jobseekers allowance claims per vacancy and now it’s down to less than two.’

An IBM spokesman said: ‘IBM teams are more mobile and are working remotely more regularly than ever before, so we continually evaluate our real estate requirements to match the needs of our clients.’

He added: ‘Change is constant in our industry and transformation is a permanent feature of our business model.

‘Consequently, some level of workforce remix is an ongoing part of our business.’

Chris Moore, managing director of Adecco Group Solutions, one of IBM’s main contractors, said: ‘We are aware of the current changes being made at IBM in Portsmouth.

‘We are in close conversations with the business and will support any workers who have been affected by providing advice and guidance where necessary.’