Glemsford: Jobs to go at Philips Avent

SUFFOLK-based firm Philips Avent which employs around 650 people at its Glemsford plant is to make job cuts, the East Anglian Daily Times can reveal.

Just days after Sudbury firm Delphi announced its staff had been offered voluntary redundancy packages, Philips Avent confirmed that as part of a new organisational structure at its Lower Road factory, around 15 management and support roles would be lost.

More than a third of the Glemsford workforce is women, and 450 of the jobs are permanent contracts. A spokesman for the company said there were no proposed job losses in manufacturing or engineering at this stage, but added: “In order to remain competitive in the current economic conditions, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to re-structure, consolidating support and management functions and reducing fixed costs.

“Through the changes, Philips is seeking to become more agile, more cost effective and more efficient.

“We understand this is a very difficult time for employees and are committed to giving them as much help, information and support as possible.”

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The company is working with an outplacement consultancy to put measures in place to help those affected by the restructure to find alternative employment.

Philips acquired the firm in 2006 and it now sells more than 30 million baby bottles and 27 million soothers every year. In June, the company invested millions of pounds in equipment to enable the plant to manufacture a revolutionary new baby bottle.

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At the launch, senior operations director, Steve Seal said despite the new bottle being produced on a ‘fully automated’ production line, no jobs would be lost and most employees would be given a chance to acquire more skilled positions.

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