Up to 2500 jobs to go at Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce, the British manufacturer of aircraft engines, amongst many other products announced on Tuesday 16th October 2023, that it plans to axe up to 2,500 jobs worldwide. The company said that the decision is part of its plans for a simpler, more streamlined, and more efficient organisation.

The job cuts are expected to affect mostly non-engineering roles across its global operations, and are likely to impact UK staff. 

The restructuring is one of the most significant steps taken by the new chief executive, who took over at the start of the year. 

He has described the company as ‘a burning platform‘ and said one of its main subsidiaries had been ‘grossly mismanaged‘.


The news comes as Rolls-Royce faces a challenging business environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely affected the aviation industry. 

The company has already cut 9,000 jobs and raised capital from shareholders during the crisis. However, its share price has recovered in the last year, thanks to a resurgence in aviation demand and the early results of its transformation plan.

Rolls-Royce share price has enjoyed a healthy recovery in 2023

The company, which makes engines for aircraft, is based in Derby. It employs 42,000 people around the world with about half based in the UK.

It employs 13,700 people in Derby, and a further 3,400 people in Bristol.

Rolls-Royce is busy

Rolls-Royce is a company that does more than just making aircraft engines. It also develops and delivers complex power and propulsion solutions for safety-critical applications in the air, sea and on land.

Civil Aerospace

Pioneering innovation for sustainable flight. Pushing the boundaries of possibility for large commercial and business aviation engines, delivering new levels of efficiency and sustainability, supported by flexible and innovative services that maximise aircraft availability.


Protecting our planet and exploring the universe. Market leaders in military air and naval power solutions, and supplier of nuclear propulsion for all UK Royal Navy submarines. They also provide maintenance, repair, overhaul, helicopter services, and customer training.

Futuristic concept projects are also under potential development such as the ‘drone’ ship.

Rolls-Royce with its concept self-driving drone ships

Power Systems

Powering sustainability in propulsion and energy. Their MTU brand products contribute to the energy transition – as emergency power supplies for safety-critical installations and as integrated propulsion systems for ships and heavy land vehicles.


Clean, sustainable, safe and silent. Leaders in advancing all-electric and hybrid-electric power and propulsion systems, focused on the opportunities offered by the net zero transition for the Advanced Air Mobility Market and beyond. They develop complete power and propulsion systems for all-electric and hybrid-electric applications.

Nuclear power plant in development

Rolls-Royce is developing a nuclear power plant system called the Small Modular Reactor (SMR). It is a type of pressurised water reactor (PWR) that can generate up to 470 megawatts of electricity, enough to power a million homes. The SMR is designed to be factory-built, modular, scalable, and cost-competitive. It can also support various applications such as grid and industrial electricity production, hydrogen and synthetic fuel manufacturing, and desalination.

Artist’s impression: Rolls-Royce is developing a nuclear power plant system called the Small Modular Reactor (SMR).

Rolls-Royce has been a nuclear reactor plant designer since the start of the UK nuclear submarine programme in the 1950s. The company has experience in developing PWRs for the Royal Navy’s submarines, such as the PWR1 and PWR2 seriesThe SMR is a new generation of PWR that aims to meet the global demand for clean and reliable energy sources.

The SMR project is supported by the UK government, which has allocated £215 million for its development.

Rolls-Royce has also shortlisted six sites for a major new factory building nuclear reactors, which could create up to 6,000 jobs in the UK. 

The company expects to have its first SMR operational by the early 2030s.

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