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Aecom Europe to cut 350 jobs

Aecom Europe, formerly Faber Maunsell, is to cut a further 350 jobs in the UK and Europe, citing the ongoing effects of the recession.

This is on top of 119 job cuts made last year.

In a letter to staff issued today by Aecom’s UK and Europe chief executive Ken Dalton, 350 jobs are to be cut due to a falling order book in the last four months of 2009.

The group laid-off 4% of staff in January due to the effects of the recession. These current cuts will represent some 8.8% of the remaining staff.

“We regret we have therefore had to take the decision to implement a further redundancy programme across each of our Business Lines and Support Services and this reduction will apply across all grades.  

“This will be more significant than on previous occasions with approximately 350 people being affected,” reads the letter.

Dalton said: “During the early parts of the summer we were hopeful that the actions we had taken during the course of the year were sufficient to sustain the level of business that was being won by the company. 

“However, during the last four months we have seen a further downturn in our order book and the outlook across many of our sectors is not predicted to recover for some time,” he said.

Areas hit hardest by the recession were cited as:

  • Private Sector Buildings
  • Water, due to delays: “in terms of AMP5 implementation”
  • Public Sector in Transportation infrastructure
  • Design & Planning

Aecom Europe earned £188M in fees 2008, half in public sector including transportation, £67M in building, and £17.8M in water.

Staff will be notified in the run-up to Christmas as to whether they will be placed on redundancy consultation. “In locations where we have more than 19 positions at risk we will enter into  collective consultation,” said Dalton, although he pledged to second staff wherever possible: “On a temporary or full time basis or indeed the ability to transfer work where some regions are not so affected by a downturn.”

The UK and Ireland market was described as: “extremely difficult and any recovery will be fragile over an extended period.”

The Italian market was said to be similarly depressed, with clients postponing projects.

Readers' comments (26)

  • The redunancies continue in an increasingly fragile industry to work in.

    As a graduate I have become increasing fed up of living an uncertain future. Having fallen victim to the credit-crunch once already I am all to aware of the lack of career option especially for graduates.

    How much longer is this cull of junior staff going to continue? And what are graduates expected to do whilst the wait for the industry to sort itself out?

    As of late I have consider careers away from engineering, as a means to securing my future. I just thank my lucky stars that I have not any dependants (children etc.).

    With public spending in construction likely to be cut and the private sector unlikely to pick up anytime soon is there any shining light at the end of tunnel?

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  • Working for AECOM this moment. Really worry about this redundancy. It is such bad news before Christmas. Hard working for a year ending with the redundancy. Just wondering it will happened among the lower grades in the office.

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  • the credit crunch; the rise of other countries;too much offshore working (using too much overseas offices for cheapness (but with many other problems) too many consultancies; not enough really good people at the top; ; not a level market for international competition for projects;too many consultancies --all this plus many other aspects create these lack of work situations

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  • Sorry to heat the news from AECOM and wish all 350 the best of luck in their search for work

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  • I can understand why Aecom are letting go staff from their Building division but it is worry that staff are also going from their transport infrastructure part given that that currently seems to be where the work is.

    I too wish all those being made redundant the best.

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  • Very sorry to hear of yet more redundanies at AECOM. As one of the forgotten few made redundant over the summer, I am rather disgruntled that we never made it to print.

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  • hard choices maybe, but no-one has asked if we wouldnt mind a pay cut rather than no job at all. there are plenty of equally sized, but less known consultants who have well stocked order books. the US believes its not the name change, but they were already widely known over there. we'll never know if keeping the legacy OPCO's until the end of the UK/EU recession would of made the difference, but i'd bet the majority of the current workforce would of preferred to take that chance rather than spend countless on a change that was neither necessary or made financial sense.

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  • The current rebranding and re-structuring has created too many directors who have spent too much time looking at structure charts etc to win what little work that is out their. When the work does dry up it is the lower grades, people who aren't involved in winning the work, who end up being laid off. In our team it is the grade 5's who are being made redundant, further reducing the link and continuity between the graduates and directors and removing an important part of the graduate development team. When the work picks up, there will no doubt be a rush to replace these people with outsiders who will inevitably cost more. If redundancies have to be made then they should be made by streamlining the top end of the company.

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  • The Government talks about apprenticeships being promoted and the way for many young engineers to develop their career - hollow words if you ask me. My son did not wish to go to Uni even though he had a place. Instead he got a job with a media installation company,but decided to resign from this after 6 months to start a 3 year service engineer apprenticeship with Caterpillar. After 9 months and 3 residential courses the company cut their training budget from which he was paid and made him redundant. That was 6 months ago.........

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  • The real sadness is that this is not about a failing company desperately making job cuts in order to secure any future - the company is still making money! It's about a company making cuts merely to protect profit levels and to meet the profit that were promised years ago to the Americans. It just shows that senior management, both within AECOM and other UK consultancies in foreign ownership, do not have the guts to stand up to their owners and say 'Sorry, but this year we can't deliver what we had planned to, tough luck, but trust my judgement that keeping staff is the best long term strategy.' Real pity that - who knows how many UK jobs have gone by our collective senior management's refusal to stand up to foreign owners.

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