ROUGHLY 75 workers in Malvern are at risk of losing their jobs at a defence firm, according to a union.

QinetiQ is currently in the consultation phase of the redundancies, which are expected to affect approximately 200 people in engineering teams across the UK.

Harriett Baldwin, the MP for West Worcestershire, has now raised concerns about potential job losses at QinetiQ's Malvern site.

Mrs Baldwin said she was very surprised to hear about the plans.

She added: "I hope that the actual number of people affected is kept to an absolute minimum.

"From past experience, we know that people who have worked at QinetiQ are highly sought after and I have offered my assistance if any constituents need guidance or help.

“With employment at record high levels I hope that the people affected will easily transition into new opportunities.”

A spokesman for the union Prospect, which represents QinetiQ workers, said: "We understand that in the region of 75 staff have been placed ‘at risk’ at Malvern, though would expect any eventual redundancies to be fewer in number, and hopefully significantly so.

"Prospect is supporting members through the consultation process, together with providing independent financial advice seminars and surgeries to assist those who may be leaving the business.

"We are in dialogue with QinetiQ, and our members, and understand that in the region of a quarter of any eventual role reduction may be achieved through natural churn, e.g. not backfilling posts as they become vacant through retirement etc. and we are urging for any eventual redundancies to be achieved through voluntary means to the fullest extent possible."

The spokesman added that the union was disappointed when it found out about the proposed redundancies.

Jon Hay-Campbell, head of communications for QinetiQ, said: “As we seek to align our services and resources to meet customer needs and deliver growth, we have begun a period of consultation that will consider the possible realignment and reduction in size of some engineering teams in the UK by approximately 200.

"We are also increasing resources as required in capabilities such as cyber security.

“These changes are about helping us to meet our strategy, it is not about downsizing the business - our headcount will remain broadly the same.

“The changes will allow us to invest in our people, facilities and capabilities, with customers starting to see real benefits in the near future.

“Until the consultation is completed, we will not be making any final decisions, and we will be actively supporting our people during this process.”

QinetiQ employs approximately 5,200 people in the UK.