Sunderland energy firm EDF plays down fears over job losses

EDF Energy, Victory Way, Doxford Park, Sunderland

EDF Energy, Victory Way, Doxford Park, Sunderland

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Energy firm bosses have downplayed fears of job cuts at a city callcentre.

French newspaper Les Echos has reported that EDF is planning to cut up to 4,200 jobs in its French operation and 6,000 worldwide over the next three years.

EDF will continue to be a major recruiter in France in the years to come, with between 1,000 and 2,000 new recruits planned every year between 2016 and 2018 in its core areas of developing business such as digital.

Marianne Laigneau

The firm’s UK operation – EDF Energy – employs around 1,500 people at its callcentre on Sunderland’s Doxford International Business Park.

The company has issued a statement confirming its plans to reduce recruitment in France, but an EDF Energy spokesman said the plan referred only to the group’s French business and the UK operation had no further comment to make.

The firm is planning to cut recruitment in France, a move it says will allow it to cut staff numbers by five per cent over the next three years without compulsory redundancies.

“EDF SA is optimising its resources by reducing the number of new recruits and cutting all operating costs,” it said.

“This should result in a 5% fall in staff numbers without the need for any terminations over the 2016-2018 period.

“This approach to managing resources is in keeping with a fiercely competitive environment and difficult market conditions in France and Europe, which make it essential for the company to adapt.

“This decision comes after a period of sustained, significant increases in staff numbers, which rose by 9% between the end of 2010 and the end of 2014.

“During this time, major recruitment drives took place which have helped secure the skills that are so essential to what the Group does, following on from a large number of people retiring.”

Marianne Laigneau, Group Senior Executive Vice President in charge of Human Resources, said: “EDF will continue to be a major recruiter in France in the years to come, with between 1,000 and 2,000 new recruits planned every year between 2016 and 2018 in its core areas of developing business such as digital.

“Priority will be given to employees’ internal mobility and career development as well as apprenticeships.”