Dozens of jobs to go at leading firm

AN award winning engineering company has announced it plans to cut dozens of jobs at its facility in East Cambridgeshire.

JDR Cable Systems, based at Wisbech Road in Littleport, employs hundreds of local people but has blamed a slump in global demand for its cutting edge products for the decision to cut jobs.

The news comes just days after a report from a leading employment body which predicted that the jobs market in the UK faced a “slow, painful contraction” in the coming years as firms delayed recruiting more staff.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development predicted the jobs market would weaken in the medium term amid global “economic turmoil.”

A company employee, who asked not to be named by the Ely Standard, said: “We knew there had been a slowing down of orders but I don’t think anyone expected them to announce job cuts. It came entirely out of the blue.”

Euro MP Richard Howitt labelled the news of up to 25 jobs cuts at JDR “very sad.”

“This is a company which I’ve backed with European funding and it is very sad to see their work on renewable energy, which is about securing Britain’s future, see its own future threatened by these troubled economic times”, he said.

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“This announcement is a sure sign that current economic policies aren’t working but I will do everything in my own power to work with JDR and its employees to avoid compulsory redundancies if at all possible.”

JDR’s Littleport facility covers 10,000sq mtrs and is one of only two UK hubs where the firm design, engineer and manufacture deep sea power cables for offshore wind farms and the oil and gas industry.

Over the past three years, the company has created hundreds of jobs in the local area as it enjoyed rapid expansion and, in 2010, the company received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise, in recognition of its success in international trade between 2006-2009. The award is recommended by the Prime Minister and approved by the Queen.

A spokesman for the company told the Ely Standard: “JDR confirms that a consultation process has been launched at our Littleport facility. This is part of a broader drive to streamline and restructure the business ready for the next phase of JDR’s development.

“We will be working with the employee representatives and any affected employees to minimize any compulsory redundancies and will assist employees who are made redundant to look for alternative employment.”