Britain’s biggest consultant Atkins has said it will cut another 300 jobs between now and the end of the financial year despite a “strong workload of long term contracts”.
In a trading statement the firm said that it expected to end the financial year with a total headcount of around 17,700, down from around 18,000 currently. Most of the cuts will be in the highways business.
Earlier this month, the company admitted it wanted some of its staff to work longer hours for the same money, consulting staff in its highways and transportation division about increasing their standard working week from 37.5 hours to 40 hours.
Last year it confirmed that it had made more than 1,000 redundancies since September 2009 in a bid to remain profitable amid government cuts.
Today’s statement said that reductions in government spending have had the greatest effect on its highways business. “We continue to decrease staff numbers despite a strong forward workload of long term contracts in highway services,” it said.
The firm said that the multidisciplinary nature of its business meant it has been able to redeploy a “number of staff” around its UK operations. About half of the firm’s staff work in the UK market.
The company’s water business, which has undergone significant restructuring over the last year, is seeing improving workload from the water companies as their Asset Management Plan 5 investment programmes begin, while the company said its rail business is operating in a well-funded market which is becoming increasingly competitive.
Looking ahead the firm said it remained confident for the full year despite challenging trading conditions in a number of its markets, “where we have taken timely action to adjust resource levels in line with prospective demand”.