Warning over skills retention as 934 leave HP

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Warning over skills retention as 934 leave HP

Alex Scroxton

IT and comms support outfit Comtek has issued a stark warning over the scale of Hewlett-Packard's planned UK redundancy programme, which is set to impact 934 workers at the firm's Enterprise Services arm.

According to CEO Askar Sheibani, the cuts will lead to further decline of technology skillsets in the UK, and could create a ripple effect that means more jobs will be lost.

"HP is the latest in a long line of manufacturers that have taken away both the opportunity and the incentive for highly-skilled workers to continue their careers in the UK," said Sheibani.

He added that HP could struggle to support its workforce in the UK, and would therefore look to offshore more British jobs in the future.

"In the short term it is up to the business community to make sure there are opportunities for the technicians and engineers available for work in the wake of these redundancies," Sheibani continued. "Any organisation that is heavily reliant on HP equipment would do well to recruit from this pool of talent."

Trade union Unite also laid into the cuts last week, expressing concern that the service jobs created to offset the late 20th Century decline in Britain's manufacturing industry were now themselves being snatched away.

The cuts at HP UK represent approximately 5.7% of the firm's British workforce, although Unite is forecasting 1,000 further job losses in the UK in the next financial year. The cuts are part of a wider cull of 9,000 positions worldwide, which HP announced at the start of June.

"This will create further insecurity and uncertainty in HP with the threat of ye tmore redundancies to come, and undermines the coalition government view that the private sector will fuel job growth out of the economic recession," said Unite national officer for IT and communications, Peter Skyte.

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