JOBS are at risk at one of Weymouth’s largest emp-loyers.

Ultra Electronics on the Granby Industrial Estate is entering a consultation period that may result in around 17 jobs being axed.

The consultation will continue throughout this month, with the earliest redundancies taking place by the end of February.

Volunteers for redundancy are being sought from the Hampshire Road firm.

Andy Matko, managing director for Ultra’s ID business, said: “While it is always a difficult and unfortunate event for those potentially at risk, it is against a background of ongoing investment in the Ultra businesses in Weymouth, as reflected by the overall large increase in the workforce.”

The number of workers at Ultra, which manufactures ID cards, has swollen from 300 to 400 in the last two years.

Mr Matko said: “Four years ago today, we employed about 300 staff in Weymouth.

“Following significant recruitment in the last two years, it is now around 400 staff.” Mickey Jones, Weymouth commercial property landlord for DJ Property, said the outlook for the Granby Industrial Estate – Wey-mouth’s largest employment site – is good.

He said: “The outlook is good but there will always be individual businesses that have to refocus their workforce.

“December and January are very quiet months in commercial property but things are still going very well and we have high levels of occupancy at the moment.”

Mr Jones said building work on the second phase of Granby expansion Link Park is due to start in the middle of this month.

He added: “The reason why we are doing this is because the business outlook is good.”

Ultra Electronics, which uses magicard printers to create colour ID cards, specialises in aerospace, defence and security markets.

It used to be known as Waverly Electronics and was then sold to Dowty Aerospace.

A management buyout in 1993 saw the firm become Ultra Electronics.

In 2006 around 18 jobs were axed at the company because of a ‘shift in customers’ requirements’.