ISLAND MP Bob Seely has received assurances today that the Government will support Isle of Wight workers who face redundancy at BAE Systems' Cowes factory.
Mr Seely asked Department of Work and Pensions minister Claire Perry in Parliament that those potentially losing their jobs at the defence giant's Newport Road facility should not be forgotten.
Mr Seely said he had spoken to BAE this morning and said: "What support will DWP provide to those affected? Will the Government assure me that any support package includes Isle of Wight workers affected at the BAE Cowes plant in my constituency? And can I also highlight the importance of the advanced radar programme on the Isle of Wight, both for the UK defence industry and for Island jobs."
In reply, the minister said the DWP has a rapid response team that will visit BAE sites to talk to those affected and to make sure they were aware of their rights and opportunities.
She added: "I understand his point about the Isle of Wight and I will make sure that is reflected into any work that is going forward."
Speaking after the Urgent Questions debate, Bob said he has been told up to 18 jobs were at risk at the 242-employee facility, which is part of the company's maritime division, but he had also been told that the work on the radar programme was largely unaffected by the job cuts.
"This is very unfortunate news for Island BAE staff as Christmas approaches. My hope is the majority, if not all, of these losses can be accommodated through voluntary redundancy," he added.