Redundancy threat as jobs move overseas

Nidec SR Drives currently employs 73 people at its Harrogate facility. (S)
Nidec SR Drives currently employs 73 people at its Harrogate facility. (S)

Up to 55 jobs could be lost at a Harrogate company when it transfers parts of its manufacturing and development capabilities overseas.

Nidec SR Drives, which employs 73 people at its base on Otley Road, has started consultations on the positions.

If enacted, the changes could affect both salaried and hourly positions from November 2018 to March 2019.

Managing director Steve Cummins said: “Due to a changing role for our business and the challenging market conditions in which we operate, we are in a position where we have to review our working practices with a view to protecting the future of the company.

“As such, we have entered a consultation process to try and identify ways in which we can do that. One such outcome may, unfortunately, result in a number of positions within the business being made redundant.

“We are working with our staff, suppliers and partners to explore every avenue to minimise the potential impact, and ask for their understanding at this difficult time.”

The Harrogate site, which was responsible for developing intellectual property and new products, was given the challenge in 2016 of starting to generate profit, but challenging market conditions, particularly within the EU, have made this difficult.

A spokesman for Nidec SR Drives said it was envisaged that operations would be transferred to other locations in North America, China and Eastern Europe, but denied that Brexit was a factor.

He said: “The potential to consider transitioning skills to other overseas locations has been driven by the need to maintain a competitive position within challenging global market conditions.”

Nidec SR Drives designs and manufactures special-purpose electrical motors and controls for a variety of industrial, commercial and traction applications that include construction and commercial vehicles, mining-process equipment, high-pressure pumps and industrial blowers and compressors.

The company is part of the huge Japanese Nidec Group, which was founded in 1973. Headquartered in Kyoto, it comprises around 107,000 employees operating from over 290 companies across 70 countries worldwide. Total annual sales for the Nidec Group at March 2018 were ¥1,488bn (approximately $13.4bn).