Around 100 workers at Rolls-Royce’s Inchinnan plant have agreed to move to Derby in a desperate bid to save their jobs.

The company - which revealed plans to halve its workforce by axing 700 jobs in Renfrewshire earlier this year - has confirmed that the “majority” of its 130 redeployed workers are moving south of the border.

The staff had previously been threatened with redundancy, but have now agreed to move their families 295 miles to retain their highly-skilled positions with Rolls-Royce.

To date, 492 people have left the Inchinnan plant as part of the redundancy process, of which 52 exited on compulsory terms.

A further 72 people who have accepted voluntary redundancy, and three who were handed compulsory redundancy will leave before the end of the year.

The huge job losses come after Rolls-Royce said the decline in the aviation industry forced it to reorganise the business.

The vast majority of cuts came from its maintenance, repair and overhaul operation.

Neil Bibby MSP has been calling for an aviation and aerospace task force to be set up

Neil Bibby, Labour MSP for the West of Scotland region, said it was “depressing” that staff were in such a perilous situation.

“It is a depressing situation for workers who are faced with the choice of moving to Derby or losing their job,” he said.

“At a time of mass uncertainty, workers and our local economy need security. This will potentially cause workers huge upheaval and is yet another blow to Renfrewshire’s economy.”

Mr Bibby, who has repeatedly implored the Scottish and UK governments to develop targeted support for the aviation sector, added: “A total of 700 jobs are going at Rolls-Royce and it seems that both Scottish and UK governments have been incapable of saving a single one of them.

“As far as I’m concerned, the number of jobs saved is zero.

“Long-term damage is being done to our local economy.

“Once these jobs are gone, it is hard to see how they will ever come back.

“Our region needs investment to stop a jobs crisis and help us rebuild after this awful pandemic.”

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said the 700 staff had been “let down” by their management and UK Government.

“These 700 job cuts are not just a massive blow to the Renfrewshire economy – they are 700 people who have been let down by their management and by a UK Government which has washed their hands of them,” he said.

“Despite what Rolls-Royce claimed at the start of this process, it is a fact that work has been offshored and jobs at Inchinnan have been sacrificed for the sake of their short-term bottom line.

Gavin Newlands MP says the staff have been let down by Rolls-Royce

“We know that dozens of apprentices have been forced to move to Derby, hundreds of miles away, at the drop of a hat in order the finish their training.

“That cannot be in the best interests of the apprentices or the local economy, particularly in the middle of a pandemic.”

A spokeswoman for Rolls-Royce said: “The majority of the 130 employees were redeployed to roles in Derby with their consent and after a long period of consultation.

“This has allowed us to retain key skill and capability in Rolls-Royce and in the aerospace industry, and our leaders, as well as our people teams, took the time to support our employees in this decision-making process.”

She added: “We continue to have regular dialogue about the future of the site with the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.

“However, due to the immediate and dramatic drop in workload, most notably on the MRO (Services) side of our business, we have had to take swift action to resize the business to meet the new, lower demand.

“Unfortunately, the government cannot replace sustainable customer demand that is simply not there at this time.

“Employees leaving the business continue to receive support through the Scottish Government’s PACE (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment), among other channels.”