IT contractors suffer as ICL and NTL slash jobs

ICL, the IT solutions giant, has announced plans to cut its workforce by 1,500. ICL blames the cuts on disappointing business results against the backdrop of adverse market conditions affecting the IT industry, as a whole.

ICL currently employs 17,700 people, of which 11,500 are UK-based. It designs, builds and operates IT systems & services in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The Company claims that it has taken a number of measures to avoid job cuts, including a reduction in the number of contractors and temporary workers, and tight control of recruitment. In addition strict controls have been applied to operational and capital expenditure.

No details have been provided about where the jobs will be cut or which parts of the company will be affected. It is possible that ICL may decide to reduce its contractor workforce further in an effort to cut costs.

Peter Skyte, the national secretary of the Manufacturing Science and Finance union with responsibility for the IT sector, told Guardian Unlimited: "ICL employees in the UK are being made sacrificial lambs because getting rid of workers in the UK is quicker, cheaper and easier than elsewhere in Europe."

Following on from the ICL story, IT site 'The Register' reports that debt-laden NTL is to axe a further 2,000 jobs as part of a cost cutting exercise. The article states: "As well as an extensive redundancy programme - some of which will be compulsory - all non-essential consultants and contractors will have their contracts terminated."

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