Delphi Diesel Systems ‘committed’ to Sudbury factory

Delphi Diesel Systems

Delphi Diesel Systems - Credit: Gregg Brown

Reassurances have been given about the future of an engineering plant in west Suffolk, which is one of the region’s biggest employers.

In May, the EADT revealed that bosses at Delphi Diesel Systems in Sudbury were planning to cut the company’s workforce by almost a quarter.

The job cuts were part of a restructuring plan to outsource the manufacture of non-core components to a factory in Romania. Out of about 700 staff at the Newton Road plant, 91 permanent and 85 temporary positions were to go.

During a consultation period, more than 100 employees applied to take voluntary redundancy.

There were also concerns that Delphi’s award-winning apprenticeship scheme could cease. But South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, who recently discussed the situation with new Sudbury plant manager Rick Bryant and UK HR director Nicola Mann, said he felt reassured that the company was committed to Sudbury and its workforce.

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He said: “We all know that Delphi is a major employer in the constituency and certainly one of our most significant manufacturing exporters at a time when we badly need to rebalance our economy in this direction.

“Whilst no management is ever likely to give absolute guarantees to a particular plant’s future, I was informed of a range of very positive signs that all give grounds to be optimistic.

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“First, management confirmed to me that all current apprentices will be offered permanent contracts. Secondly, it is definitely the firm’s aim to take on a new batch of apprentices next year at similar levels to previous years.

“Finally, it was confirmed to me that the Sudbury plant is a pilot for a new ‘Enterprise Operating System’, which is a management system for the shop floor.”

Mr Cartlidge described news that the apprenticeship scheme would continue as “very welcome”.

He added: “With an average of 100 hours per year per employee training compared to a UK average of about 55 hours, Delphi does appear to be seriously committed to the future of its workforce.”

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