Muifield builders finding work but apprentices remain unplaced

UCATT-logo_0Dozens of workers affected by the collapse of Dundee building firm Muirfield Contracts have successfully found new employment although only nine of the apprentices have secured new placements, according to a union rep.

The firm went into administration earlier this month, resulting in the loss of around 260 jobs and putting a number of building projects around the city on hold.

In addition to this, 110 subcontractors lost work with the building company and concerns were raised about the difficulty in getting such a high number of people back into employment quickly.

George Ramsay, UCATT regional organiser, says many have found new jobs but insisted more people still need help.

He said: “Obviously I haven’t kept in contact with all of our members, but a lot of them have phoned me to tell me they are back in work.

“In fact, I’ve only heard from one guy who is still looking, but that’s not to say there aren’t more.

“It’s clearly very pleasing for these guys and their families, but a lot of them have had to go out of town to find work, to places like Aberdeen.

“It is concerning that there is no big building firm to employ people or take on apprentices.”

Mr Ramsay added that the fate of Muirfield’s apprentices was something the union was looking at.

“Of the apprentices released by Muirfield, only nine have found new placements,” he said.

“Around 23 of them are at the interview process, but there are still two or three with neither a placement nor an interview.

“I think the lack of a large building firm is having an effect on this, but we will be looking to help secure placements for all of them as soon as possible.”


Meanwhile Aberdeenshire Council revealed it has formally terminated its contracts in respect of housing improvements with Muirfield and is making alternative arrangements in respect of its other contracts with the company.

Muirfield were in the process of carrying out upgrades to Aberdeenshire Council homes when administrators were appointed and work was immediately halted.

The council has written to affected tenants to explain that all planned work at their homes has been legally stopped in the meantime and reassuring tenants that the council is working with the administrators and other contractors to ensure that any ongoing works are completed promptly. Any urgent health and safety work will be undertaken by the council’s Housing Repair team.

Muirfield were also awarded contracts for the affordable housing developments at Barrasgate in Fraserburgh, and Martin Brae in Inverurie. Aberdeenshire Council took over security at both sites from the administrators last Friday.

Aberdeenshire Council will now enter into negotiations with other contractors on its Framework Agreements to complete the projects.

Aberdeenshire Council’s head of property Allan Whyte said: “While the contracts between the council and Muirfield (Contracts) Ltd were live the council was legally unable to undertake works ourselves or find alternative contractors.

“Now that we have formally terminated some of the contracts and indicated our intention to transfer the other contracts to the Administrator we can begin the process of finding alternative companies to complete the developments and upgrades to homes.

“We would like to thank council tenants for their patience while discussions proceed and we will provide further updates when we know more.”

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