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Another 1,200 Carillion workers are told they will keep their jobs

Another 1,200 people who worked for the government contractor Carillion when it collapsed into liquidation last month have been told they will keep their jobs, in the latest update by the Insolvency Service on the fate of the firm’s workforce.

The official receiver, the part of the Insolvency Service poring over Carillion’s public and private sector contracts, said it had “safeguarded” 1,221 jobs, taking the total number saved to 2,240.

“These roles are connected to the delivery of both public and private contracts and cover services for a city council, as well as a range of facilities management services,” a spokesperson for the official receiver said.

Quick guide

All you need to know about Carillion

What was Carillion?

The Wolverhampton-based firm was second only to Balfour Beatty in size.

It was spun out of the Tarmac construction business in 1999 and steadily took over rivals, such as Mowlem and Alfred McAlpine. It expanded into Canada and built a construction arm in the Middle East.

Carillion then diversified into outsourcing, taking on contracts such as running the mailroom at the Nationwide building society to helping upgrade UK broadband for BT Openreach. It took over running public service projects, ranging from prison and hospital maintenance to cooking school meals. In 2017 a third of its revenue – £1.7bn – came from state contracts. It employs 43,000 people, with more than 19,000 in the UK.

Notable construction projects

• GCHQ government communications centre in Cheltenham (2003)

• Beetham Tower, Manchester (2006)

• HS1 (2007)

• London Olympics Media Centre – now BT Sport HQ (2011)

• Heathrow terminal 5 (2011)

• The Library of Birmingham (2013)

• Liverpool FC Anfield stadium expansion (2016)~

• Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick (due 2019)

• Aberdeen bypass (due 2018)

• Royal Liverpool University Hospital (due 2018, behind schedule)

Government contracts

• NHS – managed 200 operating theatres; 11,800 beds; made 18,500 patient meals a day

• Transport – “smart motorways” to monitor traffic and ease congestion; work on HS2; track renewal for Network Rail; Crossrail contractor

• Defence – maintained 50,000 armed forces’ houses; a £680m contract to provide 130 new buildings in Aldershot and Salisbury plain for troops returning from Germany

• Education – cleaning and meals for 875 schools

• Prisons – maintained 50% of UK prisons.

Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Europe

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But the spokesperson also announced a further 101 redundancies, adding to the 829 job losses that have already been announced.

The roles that will be cut were described as “a mix of back-office functions and engineering support roles that new suppliers no longer require”.

More than 16,000 of Carillion’s UK workforce, which numbered 19,500 at the time of the company’s financial failure, still face an uncertain future.

“We continue to engage with staff, elected employee representatives and unions throughout. Those who have lost their jobs will be able to find support through Jobcentre Plus’s rapid response service and are also entitled to make a claim for statutory redundancy payments,” said the official receiver’s spokesperson.

“The liquidation process continues and we remain focused on engaging with staff and new suppliers about any changes to jobs and contracts.

“Continued support by Carillion’s public and private sector customers is enabling as many employees as possible to be retained in the interim until all contracts have been worked through.”

The latest jobs update comes days after former Carillion directors were accused by MPs of being “delusional” after giving evidence before a joint inquiry by two select committees.

The seven former directors were asked if they would volunteer to hand back bonuses they were paid in the final years before the company’s failure, but none offered to do so.

They also denied prioritising shareholders’ dividends over injecting more money into the company’s pension scheme to plug a deficit estimated at £990m.

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