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Atkins to shed more than 90 UK design staff

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Atkins has said its decision to axe 92 staff from its UK infrastructure division’s building design practice is not linked to its takeover by Canadian giant SNC-Lavalin

The AJ has learned that the company, which climbed three places to seventh in this year’s AJ100 league table, has put 186 building design staff, including architects and engineers, under consultation with a view to making half of them redundant.

Atkins, which has offices in Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, St Asaph, Warrington, Bristol, Epsom, Euston, Colchester, Exeter, Cardiff and Oxford, blamed ‘increasing uncertainty and more challenging conditions’ in the UK for the cull.

It is understood the company’s projected income for work on city-centre development, transport, defence and energy projects is running at £20 million below the 2017/18 budget.

The decision to lay off staff comes as the formal takeover of Atkins by SNC-Lavalin completed today (3 July). The deal worth £2.1 billion was cleared by shareholders last week.

Explaining the round of redundancies, a spokesperson for Atkins said: ‘We continually assess our UK markets and are now seeing increasing uncertainty and more challenging conditions. Unfortunately, after careful consideration, we have had to take the difficult decision to make 92 roles redundant in our UK Infrastructure division’s building design practice.

‘This is not connected to the SNC-Lavalin takeover and we will seek to redeploy as many people as possible to other roles.’

Last month Atkins won the AJ100 Best Use of Technology award with its human-centred design tool, WellBriefing.

Updated statement from Atkins (3 October)

’We are still going through the consultation process with some individuals so it is not possible to provide a precise figure at this stage. However we have been working hard to seek alternative options for those placed at risk and a number of people have been redeployed successfully into new roles. We therefore anticipate the number of people who will leave the business will be 40-50 per cent lower than originally anticipated.’

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