Prospect, the union for all staff working at the world-leading National Physical Laboratory, has warned that decades of scientific knowledge and experience may be lost as the result of a business strategy which could see up to 9% of the near 800-strong workforce made redundant.
NPL, which is responsible for establishing and maintaining national measurement standards, says it wants to invest in new areas of work, while withdrawing from others. However, Prospect is concerned that the vision as communicated to the workforce and the definition of future skills requirements are both very unclear.
“Members are extremely unhappy about the apparent lack of detail in the business cases so far communicated to staff,” said Prospect negotiator Clive Scoggins.
“With no clear structures or roles in place for new areas of scientific work, Prospect believes that genuine opportunities for redeployment are being missed due to a lack of joined-up thinking.
“Decades of scientific knowledge and experience may be lost before NPL is fully aware of what skills it may require to deliver an extraordinary level of impact in those new areas, as is expected of a world-leading national measurement institute.”
Scoggins added: “Frankly, it seems perverse to be talking about this plan in terms of growing the business, while at the same time putting so many skilled jobs at risk.”