Very worrying news’ from Vestas
Andrew Turner the Island’s MP has said that the news from Vestas Head Office in Denmark today is ‘extremely worrying’ for the Island. It was announced today that, due to the economic slowdown and falling orders for wind turbine blades, Vestas are to consult on redundancies which could lead to the loss of up to 500 Island jobs.
The news was announced by Vestas Chief Executive Officer Ditley Engel who confirmed that up to 2,000 jobs would be lost both in Denmark and the UK as production moved to China and the USA.
Mr Turner said:
“I am told this is not a ‘done deal’ but it is obviously extremely worrying news for Vestas employees, their families and for the Island as a whole. Our unemployment figures are already above the national average and more than double the average in the South East. This morning I have spoken to the Minister for Energy and Climate Change Mike O’Brien who also expressed his disappointment with the news. He has been in talks with Ditley Engel over recent weeks, but of course the global economic picture is currently bleak and Vestas are seeking to move their production facilities to match their order book. I very much hope that the planned investment in Research and Development here on the Island will continue, and I understand that to be the position at the moment. The recent plans approved by the Isle of Wight Council for the new Stag Lane site were based on 300 jobs working on projects including the largest blades, but of course that will be scant comfort to those who may be losing their jobs over the coming months.”
Mr Turner added:
“The Minister says that Vestas have indicated that the UK’s commitment to wind energy would stand us in good stead for the possibility of future production, likely to be on larger blades. I hope that the expertise and skills already available here would naturally lead such investment to come back to the Island.”