Merger threatens BAe education scheme

British Aerospace has put the brakes on a six-year-old education programme because of its £7.4bn merger with Marconi. The programme was part of a long-standing partnership agreement BAe had negotiated with transport union T&G, covering its 45,000 staff. Marconi, the defence division of GEC, has no such agreement in place. BAe personnel director Terry Morgan […]

British Aerospace has put the brakes on a six-year-old education programme because of its £7.4bn merger with Marconi.

The programme was part of a long-standing partnership agreement BAe had negotiated with transport union T&G, covering its 45,000 staff.

Marconi, the defence division of GEC, has no such agreement in place.

BAe personnel director Terry Morgan described the two companies as being at either end of the scale in terms of style.

Morgan admitted to being frustrated at having to halt the programme. `We are six years into our journey and are merging with a company which has not started [such a programme], so the tricky thing is how to continue down that road. We will have to rethink.

`It would be a shame to throw it all away after six years, so we need to step back and allow managers at Marconi to see where we are going,’ he said.

Marconi said it wants the new organisation, which will be the world’s second largest defence company with 105,000 employees around the world, to take on BAe’s vision and values.

`Saying it is the easy bit,’ Morgan warned. `We will have to spend some time understanding the differences between the two companies and thinking about how we are going to bridge the gap.’

Morgan added that almost 10% of BAe’s managers had left the company in the past 18 months because they were not `in tune’ with the company’s values, as tested by a survey of staff behaviour and attitudes. Morgan said none of the managers had been sacked.