More jobs to go at stricken Shields yard

ONLY ONE WAY OUT ... David Miliband says we need to talk to the Taliban.
ONLY ONE WAY OUT ... David Miliband says we need to talk to the Taliban.

THE jobs axe has fallen again as the fight continues to save a South Tyneside yard, it was revealed today.

A further 28 redundancies have been made within the McNulty Group as administrators battle to find a buyer for the stricken offshore company.

RETURN TO WORK ... about 50 staff have gone back to work at McNulty Offshore.

RETURN TO WORK ... about 50 staff have gone back to work at McNulty Offshore.

The latest job losses were announced as South Shields MP David Miliband yesterday pressed administrators KPMG to secure the struggling yard’s future.

After 100 staff were made redundant at McNulty Offshore, South Shields, on Tuesday, a finance worker at the Commercial Road site has been finished, plus 27 of the 33 staff at the company’s Aberdeen base.

A KPMG spokesman said: “The administrators of McNulty Group Holdings confirmed their vigorous efforts to achieve a sale of the business in Tyneside and Aberdeen continue.

“They have, however, made redundancies at Consafe Engineering.

“After further investigation of the business’s financial affairs, the administrators concluded there was no alternative but to make redundant 27 of the 33 in Aberdeen.” GMB regional officer Mick Blench said: “I’m not surprised these jobs have gone in Scotland – in fact, I would have thought these redundancies would have been made at the start of the week, given the state of the company.

“I have not heard a whisper about any potential buyer for McNulty, and I don’t expect an announcement in the next few days.”

The offshore oil and gas contractor, which delivers construction engineering, pipe and structural fabrication and project management services, has suffered from the uncertain and challenging global economic environment, which has particularly hit the supply chain for significant capital expenditure projects.

Mr Miliband, speaking after his meeting with KPMG’s Howard Smith and Duncan Mackenzie, said: “It was very useful to meet the administrators. We agreed on the importance of McNulty’s as a high-quality yard in South Shields, and we discussed the financial pressures which have forced the company into administration.

“I was impressed by the determination of the receivers to find a buyer for the business as a going concern.

“I promised to do everything in my power to support their efforts. I will keep in close touch with this issue.”

Mark Firmin, joint administrator and KPMG’s Northern head of restructuring, believes the South Shields yard represents “an attractive acquisition opportunity,” but hopes of finding a buyer have so far not been realised.

Despite winning a series of offshore and renewable energy contracts in recent years, work has dried up for the South Shields facility, triggering this week’s heavy job losses.

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