Design and engineering giant blames worsening recession for redundancy programme

Atkins is to slash up to 260 staff from its UK regional design arm amid “uncertainty and worsening market conditions” across the country, BD can reveal.

The global design and engineering firm – which employs 18,000 worldwide and last week announced that its Middle East workforce is to shed 200 jobs - began consultation with employees last week.

The redundancy programme affects architects and engineering staff in Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Sheffield, Stockton, Leeds, Oxford, and London.

In a statement released to BD, the group said it was taking action “from a position of strength” to ensure the future success of the business.

It said: “Our prudent management, quality of people, geographic diversity and breadth and depth of what we do means we are more resilient to economic slowdown than many of our competitors. We are not immune to this, however.

“Roles will be made redundant in those parts of the group which are experiencing increasing uncertainty and worsening market conditions and we have deferred our annual salary review for six months.”

The announcement comes as national statistics were released showing the UK has officially dipped into recession.

Atkins’ half year results last November showed revenue increased 12% to more than £700 million with pre-tax profits rising 15% to £31.7 million in the six months to September. Total staff numbers over that period climbed 8% to 18,322.