Cadbury owners Kraft are axing the Design Services team at its Bournville factory – hitting up to 40 jobs.
The American owners of the Birmingham chocolate maker are set to close the department by Christmas as part of plans for annual cost savings of 10 per cent over a two-year period.
The cutbacks come as talks over voluntary redundancies at Bournville, Chirk in Wrexham, North Wales, and Marlbrook in Herefordshire continue following last year’s announcement that 200 Cadbury manufacturing jobs would be lost in line with investment in new machinery.
The Design Services team comprises a mixture of full-time and part-time roles and freelances, with around 40 workers thought to be affected by the cutbacks.
But it is understood that alternative roles could be found within a new structure for some full-timers.
Cadbury spokesman Tony Bilsborough said: “Although our Print Room and Audio Visual Studio are unaffected by this announcement, we can confirm we are currently in consultation with a number of staff who work within our Design Services department.
“Unfortunately, we have had to propose this move in order to provide greater design flexibility for the business across the UK and Europe.”
It is understood the number of permanent full-time roles hit is considerably less than 40 due to the use of freelance workers.
Speculation that work undertaken by the Design Services team would be outsourced to London agencies has not been confirmed. The Design Services team works on artwork and design material for Cadbury chocolate products.
Unions at Bournville estimate up to 100 manufacturing jobs could eventually be lost through the voluntary redundancy programme first announced in December last year. The cuts followed the expiry of a two-year moratorium on manufacturing job losses agreed by Kraft following the 2010 takeover.