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Carillion HS2 and roads JV staff receive Kier offer

Kier has taken on approximately 200 Carillion staff on HS2 and Highways England joint ventures.

Carillion was part of the CEK JV with Kier and French contractor Eiffage to deliver two civils packages worth £1.4bn for HS2.

In the wake of Carillion’s collapse last Monday, Kier and Eiffage will now split the JV 50:50 and all 51 Carillion employees that were on the job, including apprentices, have been offered the chance to remain on the project with the two companies.

The JV will continue with the £742m C2 works for North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley and the £616m C3 works for Brackley to Long Itchington Wood Green south portal.

HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston said: “We welcome this decision by the remaining JV partners.

“Through this difficult time the team has continued to deliver and we’re grateful for their ongoing hard work and dedication.

“No time delays or costs implication have come about as a result of the events of this week, underlining the strength of the joint venture approach taken by HS2 in procuring its partners.”

Latest on Carillion

Kier will also take full responsibility for the JV it had with Carillion to deliver the £475m smart motorways upgrade programme for Highways England.

All Carillion employees working on the scheme, who number approximately 150 including seven apprentices, will join the company next week, according to Kier.

The company is also in talks with Carillion’s subcontractors and suppliers on the job to try to secure “continuity of skills, resources and suppliers”.

The first smart motorways upgrade package of works, worth £129.5m on the M6, started later than expected in February last year.

Remaining works, which include upgrades to the M20 and M23, are yet to begin and costs have not been agreed.

Kier chief executive Haydn Mursell said: “We have been working collaboratively with our clients and are pleased to have reached agreement with government concerning these joint ventures.

“We have been able to take action quickly and reassure the project teams that they continue to play an important role in the delivery of these contracts.”

The government faced heavy criticism last week over the CEK consortium being awarded the HS2 work two weeks after Carillion revealed it had made a £845m provision to cover problem contracts.

Responding to today’s news, transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “This announcement demonstrates the strength and purpose of the joint venture contracts agreed on HS2 works and the smart motorways programme.

“These have enabled Kier and Eiffage to step in as planned and guarantee continued employment, apprenticeships and the seamless delivery of these vital projects.

“HS2 and Highways England carried out at the point of award additional due diligence to ensure even without Carillion these projects would continue. Both Highways England and HS2 will, of course, continue to monitor the situation.”

Construction News revealed this morning that 76 Carillion workers on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route have been offered roles with Balfour and Beatty and Galliford Try.

Balfour and Galliford have said the two companies will incur additional costs of up to £80m to complete the troubled project due to Carillion’s collapse.

Kier has also announced today that is has secured contract extensions on two gas network contracts and one rail electrification contract worth £140m combined.

The original contracts were acquired by Kier when it took over infrastructure specialist McNicholas in July.

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