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May Gurney confirms 250 Scottish jobs at risk

May Gurney has confirmed that 250 jobs are at risk in its Scottish business after a drop in outsourcing work on a gas pipeline contract.

The announcement follows the news earlier this month that Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) is planning to reduce the amount of work it outsources “in line with its submission to the regulator, given there is a workload reduction in Scotland”.

A consultation got under way yesterday, which means 250 employees in Aberdeen, Dundee and Falkirk, are at risk.

However, May Gurney is hoping it can transfer some staff to another long-term client, Scottish Water, by “using transferable skills and retraining to create new jobs on the contract we deliver for them”.

The firm stressed it is “totally committed” to the Scottish market.

May Gurney’s announcement follows a trading update earlier this month, when the firm announced the departure of chief executive Philip Fellowes-Prynne alongside a profit warning.

May Gurney also cut 100 senior level jobs last year, and came under fire recently for extending payment periods to 60 days for materials suppliers.

May Gurney said it and SGN “are working together to keep the impact of this reduction to a minimum” and have negotiated the retention of some mains replacement and all new connections work in the north-east of Scotland until 2014.

A spokesperson said: “While May Gurney will continue to work with SGN in a strategic partnership, this decision will result in a significant reduction in the work we undertake for the group in Scotland and, also, our staffing requirements going forward.

“As a result, we have entered into consultations with our staff and anticipate that up to 250 people could be affected by this development.” 

May Gurney will seek “alternative roles” for those affected and said it anticipates that “a number of those impacted could be redeployed”.

“In addition to continuing our discussions with SGN, we have also been working with one of our other long-term clients – Scottish Water – with a view to using transferable skills and retraining to create new jobs on the contract we deliver for them,” it added.

May Gurney’s other long-terms clients in Scotland include SSE, Fulcrum and Nokia, and the firm said it is “totally committed” to growing its operations in Scotland, where it employs 600 people.

Finance director Mark Hazlewood told CN a fortnight ago that the other parts of the business are “performing strongly”.

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