In a double hit this week, two of the industry's largest firms have announced major job cuts and even office closures. Foster + Partners has announced proposals for the closure of offices in Berlin and Istanbul as well as the loss of up to 400 staff members. The move comes as a shock following the firm’s recent assent in the Sunday Times Deloit Buyout Track 100, being ranked number one with the fastest growing profits of a private equity backed firm. A statutory 90 day consultation period will now take place with staff members before final decisions on figures are made.
Almost simultaneously, multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Atkins has announced major losses of 1000 jobs, 800 of which are earmarked for the UK and 200 in the Middle East. Atkins currently employs over 17,000 in 200 offices around the world, over 11,000 of which are employed in the UK, and has a turnover of £1.3 billion. Atkins ranked 8th last year in ENR magazine's Top 200 Global Design firms league table in terms of revenue. However, as reported in London’s Evening Standard, Atkins Chief Executive Keith Clarke said yesterday: “We have been affected by the uncertainty in a number of markets, principally in our Middle East and UK building design businesses.”