Devon

British Gas subcontracting changes 'cutting Plymouth jobs'

Dozens of builders insulating ex-council houses in Plymouth are to be told they are losing their jobs because of subcontracting changes by British Gas, a local company boss says.

Cladding specialist Brook Energy Services is carrying out the work on behalf of British Gas on properties owned by Plymouth Community Homes.

Will Brook said 25 staff were being told about the "devastating" news.

British Gas said it would announce the results of a review "in a few weeks".

'Up to them'

Plymouth Community Homes (PCH) announced last year it had agreed a £30m contract to work with British Gas to insulate 10,000 homes.

It was hoped the eight-year project would boost the regional economy and create local jobs.

Mr Brook said he was told last Thursday British Gas was stopping using his firm immediately and deploying an in-house division to finish off the work.

He said: "I'm disappointed. We're a relatively small company, we're tying to use local labour and have invested a lot of money in developing our workforce and company.

"It's absolutely up to them, but one of the main points about this project was that it was going to be supporting the local economy."

Mr Brook said he believed British Gas workers from Rugby in Warwickshire and Scotland were to be involved in finishing the work.

British Gas said: "We've recently reviewed the scheme in Plymouth.

"The project will be primarily delivered by British Gas and we remain committed to work with local companies to complete this project.

"We have advised our local subcontractors that we are undertaking a review and the outcome is expected in a few weeks."

PCH said it was "really disappointed" to hear that, because of subcontracting changes, "local people may lose work".

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