Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Nokia set to axe 700 jobs in UK

Nokia is set to axe around 700 UK jobs
Nokia is set to axe around 700 UK jobs

Mobile phone giant Nokia is axing around 700 UK jobs as part of plans to reduce its global workforce by 4,000 within two years.

The group said the jobs would go by the end of 2012 as it looks to slash costs by £886 million.

A further 3,000 jobs will be affected worldwide by a move to outsource its Symbian software operations to Accenture, although the group said it was too early to give details of how many UK jobs will be involved.

Nokia - the world's biggest mobile phone maker - employs around 2,400 staff in the UK, with main sites in London and Farnborough, Hampshire.

Nokia said the jobs would largely go across research and development (R&D) and in software roles. It is also consolidating its R&D sites and confirmed its Southwood office in Farnborough would close by the end of next year.

The Finnish group plans to shut its office in Southwark, London, when the lease expires, with staff at this site expected to transfer to technology-consulting company Accenture under the Symbian outsourcing deal. Nokia will retain offices in Bristol, Church Crookham in Hampshire, Soho in London, and Cambridge.

The group said the UK was among the worst affected by the global job cuts, alongside Denmark and Finland. Nokia's jobs blow comes just a week after the firm revealed its market share slipped below 30% for the first time in a decade as it lost out to Apple's iPhone.

Nokia president and chief executive Stephen Elop is hoping to revive the group's fortunes by using Microsoft's Windows mobile software in future smartphones - a deal that was also unveiled last week. He said Nokia had a "new clarity" around its path and it was focused on leadership in smart devices and mobile phones.

"However, with this new focus, we also will face reductions in our workforce. This is a difficult reality, and we are working closely with our employees and partners to identify long-term re-employment programmes," he said.

Unite said it would take part in a "concerted campaign" to halt the job losses at Nokia's UK sites. Tony Burke, Unite assistant general secretary, said: "This is another dark day for the British economy. What is very disheartening is that mobile phones and their associated technology are one of the growth areas in the British economy, yet this still does not stop a successful company such as Nokia throwing people out of work."

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