ONE of Burnley's largest employers today told workers it was axing 63 jobs.

TRW Automotive Electronics, formerly Lucas Varity, is hoping that the job losses will be met by voluntary redundancies from its 400-strong workforce at the Eastern Avenue plant.

Volunteers are being sought mainly in the production areas of the plant, which produces electrical components for cars.

But after last year's job losses, which totalled over 900, when the workforce in Burnley was halved and their Accrington factory was closed after a decision to take its orderbook from Accrington to Romania and Egypt -- where labour and running costs are much lower -- the company is not confident enough volunteers will come forward.

Martin Shaw, a spokesman for the firm, said: "Last year's job losses mean that most of those who could take voluntary redundancies have already gone.

"Finding volunteers again might be more difficult."

The leader of Burnley Borough Council, Stuart Caddy, said he is "disappointed" at the news.

The combination of the loss of major orders to competition outside the UK, cheap foreign labour costs and the strong pound is the reason the US electronics giant has given for the latest job losses.

Councillor Caddy added: "I am disappointed that Burnley has to face further job losses. What I shall be doing is contacting the firm and asking if there is any assistance that the local council can offer through our Economic Development Unit."

Hugh Simpson, of the Economic Development Unit, said: "Naturally the council are concerned to hear that the firm are having to seek further redundancies.

"We shall be meeting the company to see if the council can provide any assistance, both to the business and to those who may be losing their jobs.

"We have a good working relationship with the company and will want to do whatever we can to help."

A spokesman for the GMB, the trade union which represents some of the work-force said: "We are aware of the latest redundancies at the TRW's Eastern Avenue plant and will be working closely with our members and management to find the best possible solutions."