THE ANNOUNCEMENT surrounding the possible closure of the Ford plant could potentially see 500 more people join the ever-growing dole queue in the region.

The uncertainty comes on the back of a number of big employers in Southampton announcing cuts to workforces.

Already this month financial services giant Skandia said it was due to axe 200 jobs, with the firm’s Southampton headquarters bearing the brunt.

At the start of October B&Q announced that 220 jobs would be going as part of a ‘restructuring’ at the Chandler’s Ford-based firm.

Meanwhile in April the news came that 500 British Gas workers were facing redundancy after bosses announced they will be shutting Southampton’s call centre.

Workers were told the news that the centre in St Mary’s Road will be closed by the end of the year as part of a costcutting review.

Council workers have been warned to brace themselves for potential job losses as part of sweeping council cuts to jobs and services.

At least 100 more council workers could be axed as finance bosses predict the city faces its worst cash crisis, the Daily Echo recently reported.

In a secret draft copy of Labour proposals, seen by the Daily Echo, 100 more council job losses have been highlighted as a way of saving cash.