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Miller in recruitment swoop as top contractors shrink UK businesses

EXCLUSIVE: Miller Construction will continue to take advantage of recruitment opportunities as some of the biggest contractors shrink and realign their UK businesses, its chief executive told CN today.

Chris Webster spoke exclusively to CN as the company announced the appointment of Carillion Facilities Management’s development director Phil Wainwright to head up Miller Asset 24, the group’s FM and asset management division.

“I fully understand why the Carillions and Balfour Beattys are looking overseas to grow their business, and they know that provides us with an opportunity to grow our business in the UK.”

Mr Wainwright is the latest in a list of appointments from other major contractors.

Mr Webster said the firm is currently recruiting in the rail market and expects to see overall staff numbers across the construction business increase from 400 to 450 by the end of the year.

The chief executive also forecast that the construction business will almost double its revenue to £400 million next year, putting it back on track to hit a £600m growth target after a dip to £239m in the last financial year.

“We are actively recruiting in the (construction) market and doing it gradually over a period of time,” he said.

“I’m very conscious that we evolve and develop the business by using the best skills in the people that we have got and introducing new skills to the business as we progress. We have to do that progressively and don’t want to be in a position where we are over recruiting.

“(But) I’m very aware that a lot of large guys are having to shrink down at the moment. We are in the exact opposite situation, so it’s important we make the most of it.”

Miller has also hired Morgan Sindall’s business development manager David Stobie, Willmott Dixon’s Karen Vigar as strategy and development director and Laing O’Rourke’s health chief Andrew Cartwright for its ProCure 21+ operation.

Last year it promoted Martin Cooper to finance director and appointed consultancy director Dan Adorisio, and also made former ScottishPower chief Philip Bowman its chairman.

The Midlands and South West division – created with the restructure of the business into four regional hubs – is heading for an £100m turnover, he said, largely on the back of major contracts including the £44m Leicester Building Schools for the Future win and the £129m Avon and Somerset police accommodation PFI.

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