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Bombardier halts recruitment of new apprentices after jobs axe

Bombardier has suspended the recruitment of new apprentices in the wake of a redundancy announcement that is set to see more than 1,000 jobs lost.

The Canadian-owned aerospace manufacturer said on Wednesday that 580 jobs would be lost this year at its Belfast plant with a further 500 to go during 2017.

It has now put a halt to its apprentice training scheme, which took on around 40 trainees each year.

The company said the move was part of an overall efficiency drive which will see 7,000 staff being axed globally.

"As part of our efforts to reduce costs we are suspending recruitment of new apprentices," said a Bombardier spokeswoman.

"We will continue to support our current apprentices to complete their training and gain the relevant qualifications."

Bombardier has around 130 apprentices in Belfast at various stages of training.

The manufacturer is one of Northern Ireland's largest employers and supports hundreds of other jobs through its suppliers.

Unions have described the mass redundancies as another cruel blow to the region's manufacturing sector, still reeling from news that factories such as JTI Gallahers and Michelin are to close.

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