BESA chief executive David Frise.
Fellow members of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) in Scotland have found positions for all of the apprentices after Vaughan was forced into administration last week as a direct result of the insolvency of the construction giant Carillion.
Vaughan was owed more than £600,000 for projects already completed on behalf of Carillion and was contracted to carry out a further £1.1m worth of Carillion work in the first quarter of this year. The 53-year-old company’s Belfast-based operation was not affected and continues to trade, but Vaughan’s businesses based in Newcastle, Manchester and Edinburgh were hit by the fallout.
BESA chief executive David Frise described the swift re-employment of the Vaughan apprentices in Scotland as a “lone bright spot in an otherwise tragic tale”.
“There has been a string of bad news following the collapse of Carillion and the loss of this long-established and highly respected company is heart breaking,” said Mr Frise. “However, the speed with which fellow BESA members have moved to rescue the careers of these apprentices has helped to raise spirits.”
As news of Vaughan’s difficulties began circulating, BESA staff contacted all of the apprentices – based at the company’s divisional headquarters in Edinburgh – and advised them to update their CVs. When the administration was confirmed and its 160 staff made redundant, details of all seven, who are either in the third or fourth year of their training, were then circulated to other BESA members in Scotland.
Three of the apprentices were taken on by Blantyre Park Services; with one each going to Servest Arthur McKay; John G Mackintosh; James Frew; and FES.
Ross Farrell, one of the apprentices taken on by BPS, thanked his new employer and BESA for “helping us out through a tough time”.
“I heard about my redundancy on the Tuesday; and by Friday I had a new job, which shows how well both BPS and BESA handled our situation.”
Mr Frise added his thanks to the new employers and commented: “It is often forgotten in the blizzard of headlines around major company insolvencies that the hopes and aspirations of young people are at stake – and that vital skills can be lost to our industry forever.”