FORD has announced plans to cut 1300 jobs in the UK over the next two years, a fifth of its total workforce across the country.

It is part of a major restructuring programme which will see the carmaker cut 3800 jobs in total across Europe.

Ford is cutting back on development staff as it faces an uncertain economic future and prepares for the transition to electric vehicles.

Most of the UK cuts will be at its research site at Dunton in Essex.

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Several hundred back-office posts are also expected to be closed at sites across the country.

However, production sites at Halewood, Dagenham and Daventry will not be affected.

The company said 2800 engineering rolls will be axed by 2025 and that around 1000 jobs in its administrative, marketing, sales and distribution teams across Europe are set to go.

Chairman of Ford of Britain Tim Slatter explained: “Here in Europe we’ve got a pretty difficult economic situation, and the outlook is uncertain.

“High inflation, higher interest rates, the ongoing war in Ukraine, cost of energy and so on.”

By 2030, the company has said it expects all the cars it builds in the UK to be fully electric.

Two out of three commercial vehicles will be either electric or plug-in hybrids by the same date. 

In June, the final Ford Fiesta will roll off the production line in Cologne as the one-time-best-selling car is no longer viable to make. 

European head of Ford's electric vehicles division Martin Sander said: "These are difficult decisions, not taken lightly. 

"We recognise the uncertainty it creates for our team, and I assure them we will be offering them our full support in the months ahead."