Carillion apprentices laid off in ‘act of crass stupidity’

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Union leaders have attacked the disclosure that hundreds of apprentices at collapsed engineering giant Carillion are being made redundant.

The Official Receiver announced that 356 people are to leave the business, with 341 of them apprentices.

Unite said the move “destroyed” their training and was an act of “crass stupidity”.

The Insolvency Service said the roles of those leaving the business were no longer required, adding that support is available to help them find new work.

When Carillion collapsed at the start of the year, it employed over 1,200 apprentices, with placements subsequently found for over 800.

Gail Cartmail, assistant general secretary of Unite, said: “This is an appalling way to treat these apprentices who should have become the backbone of the industry. To dump them and to destroy their training is an act of crass stupidity.

“These actions highlight the Government’s total failure to assist the workers who have been most affected by Carillion’s collapse through no fault of their own.

“The Government could have used its procurement power to find placements for these apprentices but it chose not to, demonstrating that it is not serious about dealing with the skills crisis facing the industry.

“The dismissal of Carillion’s remaining apprentices once again demonstrates that the construction skills crisis will not be tackled until procurement rules are introduced which require that all companies undertaking public sector contracts must train apprentices.”

The number of redundancies following Carillion’s demise now totals 2,778, while 13,516 jobs have been saved, and 1,277 employees have left the business.

More than 650 employees have been retained on public and private sector contracts.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “Following the collapse of Carillion the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) took immediate action to make sure apprenticeship training could continue as normal and we have been working closely with the CITB to find alternative employment for all those apprentices.

“The CITB has confirmed they have found new employment, with wages, for 777 of the apprentices.”

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