“There was uncertainty, because people were unsure how the process [PPP administration] would affect them,” said Sockett.
“Some chose to leave, but the vast majority decided to stay.”
Sockett told NCE that staff numbers were down 10%, and the business, now out of PPP administration and a subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL), was keen to recruit as it ramps-up its civils programme.
TfL has confirmed that it will not re-brand the contractor, but the company’s long-term role within TfL is still undecided.
Sources within TfL have told NCE that it is waiting to see how it adapts to swallowing the contractor before making longer term decisions on Metronet’s future, although staff positions would remain secure.
Since transferring to TfL, Metronet’s 6,000 staff have seen their employee benefits increase. They now belong to a final salary pension scheme, can claim two Oyster cards per household and up to 75% reimbursement on Network Rail season tickets. Sockett hopes these perks will help attract talent to Metronet.
Sockett said that Metronet would need more staff in the coming 18 months as secondments of 100 staff from consultant Atkins was nearing an end.
Metronet was formed in 2003 to upgrade two-thirds of the London Underground network. Its shareholders were Atkins, Balfour Beatty, EDF Energy, Thames Water and Bombardier. Staff from the shareholder companies operated the company’s contracting arm, Trans4m, on secondment.
Trans4m was wound-up as Metronet entered PPP administration in July last year.
Read a full interview with Sockett in this week's NCE magazine.