More jobs to go at hi-tech firm

MORE jobs are to go at a former flagship Ipswich technology company plagued by the global dip in telecoms industry.The axe will fall on an unspecified number of workers at beleaguered hi-tech firm Agilent today after voluntary redundancies failed to make the required down size.

MORE jobs are to go at a former flagship Ipswich technology company plagued by the global dip in telecoms industry.

The axe will fall on an unspecified number of workers at beleaguered hi-tech firm Agilent today after voluntary redundancies failed to make the required down size.

As they pondered who to let go, bosses today disagreed with Chancellor Gordon Brown's optimistic forecast that there will be an economic upturn.

A company spokesman, based in White House Road, would not comment on the exact number of jobs to be shed in advance of staff notification expected next week .


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The flagship company, which built a worldwide reputation during the recent tech boom has in the last year, seen employees dwindle from 600 to 350.

Technology manager John Ure said: "Following a round of voluntary redundancies we are today starting to let other people go. I am not able to say at this stage how many will go.

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"Currently employers are looking at individual contracts."

He said the demand for the fibre optic system that the company manufactures has fallen.

He added: "Unlike Gordon Brown we are not confident that there will be an upturn in the global economy."

In the last two years, the company has shrunk from a £9 billion business to a £6 billion concern.

"When you look at figures like that you see why redundancies are inevitable," he added.

The latest job cuts will hit the research and development division.

Agilent announced 4,000 job cuts worldwide in 2001 including 100 from the tranceivers manufacturing division in Ipswich as the slump in the telecoms industry started to bite.

Third quarter revenues were down 23% to £1.8billion resulting in the company's first net loss - £219m - since the 1980s.

A consultancy period for the latest job cuts will take place over the next week before redundancy notices are expected to be issued.

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