Call for action as industry faces more job cuts

Factory workers are hit by rising job losses

The UK government is being pressed to take urgent action to tackle unemployment amid more bad news about manufacturing job losses.

Around 800 manufacturing job cuts were announced in Scotland at US-owned computer chip firm Freescale Semiconductor.

And more than than 500 jobs in the food-processing industry face the axe after Iceland-based Bakkavor launched a 90-day consultation period with staff over the future of its Mariner Foods factory in Grimsby.

The news comes amid the biggest jobless rise in the UK since 1991, with unemployment rising to 1.79m, producing a jobless rate of 5.7 per cent.

Latest data from the Office for National Statistics also showed a 46,000 drop in the number of manufacturing jobs to a record low of 2.87 million.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "This is extremely bad news, and these figures do not even show the effects of the bank crash.

"After years when we could take reasonably full employment for granted, we are now in for grim times. This is the next big challenge for the Government."

Employment minister Tony McNulty announced that a further £100 million would be made available to help people who are losing their jobs.

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