CTV News has learned that 250 people have been laid off at BlackBerry in Waterloo, Ont.

Employees were given notice Tuesday and the company confirmed the news late Wednesday.

BlackBerry says the employees worked in the new product testing facility, supporting its manufacturing, and research and development efforts.

The company says the changes will help BlackBerry "increase efficiency" and scale the company "correctly" for new opportunities.

BlackBerry is in the midst of trying to recover a stronger position in the highly competitive smartphone market with its new line of phones and operating system. About 5,000 employees were laid off last year in restructuring efforts.

At the company's annual general meeting earlier this month, CEO Thorsten Heins told shareholders that BlackBerry is in the midst of a "complex transition."

"We are still in the midst of a major, complex transition of this company, and like most of these transformations ... progress can be volatile," Heins said on July 9.

He encouraged investors at its annual meeting to remain patient while the company navigates its plan to become profitable again.