Arbroath’s engineering industry has suffered another blow as the second firm in less than a fortnight announces job losses.
Mechanical engineering firm Axon Well Intervention Products on the Kirkton industrial estate is set to shed over 20 jobs, around a quarter of the workforce, as a result of cost-saving measures being taken on throughout the global oil industry.
Jim Yeats, managing director for Axon’s Europe and the Middle East operations said: “As a company specialising in the design and manufacturing of specialised oil and gas industry equipment, Axon Well Intervention Products is faced with the direct negative impact of project cancellations and cuts in capital expenditure by the industries operating and service companies.
“Therefore we have to align our cost structure to match the market conditions, this includes rationalising our manufacturing operation within one facility in Arbroath, and a reduction of the workforce from 70 to approximately 45 personnel.
“This is a very difficult time for everyone and we are dealing with this as sensitively as possible and in full consultation of the employees.”
Axon came to Arbroath in 2011 after purchasing the company Mechserve which had operated in the town since 2000.
The Well Intervention Products group designs and manufactures oilfield equipment, including its own range of high-pressure triplex and quintuplex pumps.
It is the second tranche of job cuts for Arbroath’s engineering sector this month and comes hot on the heels of the announcements of impending redundancies at Halliburton’s Elliot industrial estate facility.
Angus South MSP Graeme Dey said: “The Scottish Government is working closely with the sector, establishing for example a task force, to address the issues which are arising from the present situation.
“But as the industry has made clear what’s needed to help it through its current difficulties is a relaxation of the taxation regime which has become overly burdensome, complex and uncompetitive. And control over that lies in London.
“Westminster has enjoyed decades of Scottish oil wealth. Now it needs to take steps to protect a sector which not only contributes significantly to the UK’s public finances but is important to the Scottish and specifically north-east economies.
“The Scottish Government has set out proposals to simplify the fiscal regime and introduce allowances to encourage exploration.
“Hopefully Westminster will respond positively to these in the upcoming budget because only by giving confidence to the industry and those who decide upon investments can we ensure the sector recovers quickly and job losses are kept to a minimum.”