Scores of jobs to go at South Tyneside shipyard

Stephen Hepburn (R) at A&P Tyne in Hebburn.'He's visiting the yard with Vernon Coaker, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence
Stephen Hepburn (R) at A&P Tyne in Hebburn.'He's visiting the yard with Vernon Coaker, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

FIFTY-eight jobs are to be axed at a South Tyneside shipyard, the Gazette can reveal today.

The workers are set to go at A&P Tyne, on the Wagonway Road Industrial Estate, Hebburn, as the company says it is trying to “respond to peaks and troughs in demand”.

A company spokesman said consultation over the job losses had now been launched with trade union representatives.

The news comes just months after the business, which specialises in the design, fabrication, installation and commissioning of seabed-to-surface projects, successfully completed part of a £60m aircraft carrier contract for the Ministry of Defence.

It is believed that among the workers earmarked to go are fitters, joiners and machine shop employees.

Management, office and supervisor levels have also been advised their jobs are at risk, according to a source, although the jobs of welders and platers are said to be safe.

A spokesman for the company said: “A&P Tyne has entered into a period of consultation during which it will review the number of people employed at its site in Hebburn.

“The reduction in workforce is part of a restructure at A&P Tyne that will enable the business to remain competitive in a challenging, global marketplace.

“A&P Tyne needs to respond to peaks and troughs in demand.”

It added: “Ship repair work is subject to fluctuation and the restructuring will ensure that staffing costs adjust to tally with fluctuating ship repair income, to secure the future viability of the yard. Consultations are being undertaken with trade union and elected employee representatives.

“Fifty-eight roles have been put forward for redundancy, but final numbers will not be reached until the end of the 30-ay consultation period.”

Less than a fortnight ago, Jarrow’s Labour Parliamentary candidate Stephen Hepburn, alongside Vernon Coaker, his party’s shadow defence secretary, visited A&P to see at first hand the work being carried out there.  

At the time, Andy Shaw, A&P’s group managing director, said was able to highlight to his guests his company’s success in rapidly turning around contracts.

He told the Gazette: “The future of the defence sector is hugely important to A&P Group, given that we continue to deliver multi-million pound contracts for the Ministry of Defence and see this as a growth area across the group going forward.

“We are contracted across a broad range of defence projects including the MoD Aircraft Carrier build programme, the Astute Class Nuclear Submarine programme and through-life support of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.”

It is believed all the workers to be made redundant will be off-site by the beginning of June.

The other candidates in Jarrow Parliamentary election are: Stan Collins (Lib Dem), Norman Hall (TUSC), Nick Mason (Conservative), Steve Harrison (UKIP), David Herbert (Green).

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