MORE than 500 Rolls-Royce jobs in Scotland have been safeguarded from compulsory redundancy for at least five years following an agreement with Unite the union.

The signing of a memorandum of understanding for Inchinnan, Renfrewshire comes with a pledge to work to bring new types of contracts to the site, including projects related to addressing climate change and developing green technologies.

Rolls-Royce, hit by the global downturn in the aerospace industry because of the coronavirus pandemic, hailed the move to boost future competitiveness of the facility.

Both the union and Rolls-Royce called for greater government input in steering the future direction of the sector.

Pre-Covid, Inchinnan, which is the company’s second-largest civil aerospace facility in the UK behind its Derby base, employed 1,300. Around 575 people are now secure under the agreement at Rolls-Royce’s last major Scottish site, which produces turbine blades and aerofoils.

READ MORE: Rolls-Royce in move to raise up to £5bn as Scotland job cuts ongoing

This includes around 40 roles that had been earmarked for redundancy, the union said. The number of compulsory redundancies in last year’s round was 50, with the rest being either voluntary redundancy or redeployment.

The latest deal also covered the engine fan casing division in Ansty, Coventry, where 85 roles were protected, and comes after Unite agreed with Rolls-Royce management to protect the future of the company’s Barnoldswick operations, saving a further 350 jobs.

“The agreements safeguarding more than 650 jobs in Inchinnan and Ansty are testament to the hard work of our members at both sites who, alongside our fantastic team of shop stewards and officers, were determined to secure a bright future for their workplaces and communities,” said Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner. “Coming hot on the heels of the Barnoldswick deal, these agreements show exactly what can be achieved when employers and unions work together in a genuine and positive way.”

HeraldScotland: Steve Turner of Unite. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.Steve Turner of Unite. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

He added: “But, as we face the triple challenge of recovering from the pandemic, adjusting to the UK’s new position outside of the EU and tackling climate change, it is clear that government now needs to play its part.

“That means supporting, investing in and procuring from UK manufacturers enabling the transition to a greener economy.

“Companies like Rolls-Royce have the potential to drive a jobs recovery as they produce the green tech needed to meet our zero carbon targets, while cementing the UK’s position as the envy of the manufacturing world.”

READ MORE: Rolls-Royce’s future in Scotland ‘under review’

In August, workers in Scotland were told operations were “under review” as the company said it planned further cost-saving when it unveiled a record half-year loss.

Rolls-Royce said this came after the “historic shock” of the grounding of the world’s aircraft during the pandemic as it booked a £5.4 billion half-year loss and said it plans to sell off parts of its business to raise more than £2bn.

A Rolls-Royce spokesperson pointed to “mid-term viability,” saying: “Our manufacturing sector is key to meeting the immense challenges ahead.

“We now need government to be working much closer with both unions and industry to ensure that those challenges are met."

READ MORE: Infographic: Rolls-Royce civil aerospace facilities potentially affected by job cuts

The spokesperson added: “We are pleased to confirm that after many weeks of complex and constructive talks about the future of our facilities in Ansty and Inchinnan we have agreed a way forward with Unite, which is based on us working closely with them to improve the competitiveness of both sites.

“The agreements show our commitment to the mid-term viability of these facilities where we will continue to explore the opportunities for future development and manufacturing work related to climate change programmes in line with company strategy.”