The government review into further education funding must report urgently if action is to be taken to prevent hundreds of job losses in the engineering and design sector according to Britain’s biggest consultant Atkins.
In a statement Atkins hit out at delays. “The stalled Learning and Skills Council (LSC) programme was designed to refurbish further education establishments but many colleges are now facing bankruptcy because of funding issues,” it said. “The delays are now presenting a serious potential problem for companies working on the projects.”
Atkins has won 13 multidisciplinary design contracts to refurbish sites through the LSC programme so far and is shortlisted for a further eight. The work involves providing architectural, engineering and IT services.
Paul Dollin, managing director of Atkins’ design and engineering business, said: “At peak we would expect to have around 250 staff employed on LSC projects with the contracts we have won and any threat to that work could have an obvious impact.
“This is especially true now when the market is not providing as many opportunities, making it harder to relocate staff in the short term.”
Atkins is the only company to be have been awarded framework agreements for college renewal designs across all three of the LSC’s regions in England – North, South and Central. Off the back of that success it has undertaken a national recruitment campaign in response to the demand for its services.