GKN Aerospace, which has large sites in East Cowes, has opened a voluntary resignation scheme ­— complimented by a £20,000 tax-free payout.

With the future of the industry unclear in the wake of Covid-19, and a shift in climate, the firm is providing an option for permanent employees to walk away with a lump-sum payout.

"It's something we have done before at many UK sites when demand has changed, as it clearly has in the current climate," said a spokesperson for the firm.

"It is one of a range of sensible measures – including furlough, an external hiring freeze, reducing agency workers and early retirement – that GKN Aerospace has implemented in many sites to mitigate the short-term impact during this unprecedented and uncertain time.

"Additionally, at East Cowes, GKN Aerospace has also redeployed more than 100 employees to ventilator production to support the NHS at this time.

"GKN Aerospace continues to assess the longer-term impact on the business.”

They said it is an open scheme with no target number or group ­— any permanent employee can apply.