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Atos KPMG Consulting sheds 15% of workforce

Nick Huber
The gloom enveloping the IT consultancy market deepened this week after Atos KPMG Consulting confirmed that it would cut about 15% of its workforce in the UK and the Netherlands.

The company, formed earlier this year when Paris-based Atos Origin bought KPMG Consulting's UK and Dutch divisions, blamed the job losses on a deterioration in market conditions.

In a statement the company said, "Atos KPMG Consulting, in common with all other large management consultancies, currently employs more people than can be justified by the amount of client work available."

Although it could not put an exact figure on the number of redundancies, the company said it expected that a similar proportion of its workforce would leave as had left during previous rounds of redundancies.

Individual negotiations with workers over applications for voluntary redundancy began this week.

Most of the leading IT consultancies have laid off staff in the past year, including Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and IBM.

Peter Skyte, national secretary of Amicus, the IT professionals' union, said the swathe of recent job cuts among the consultancies could prove a mistake in the long-term when demand in the market picks up and firms are left short-staffed.

"The whole history of the IT sector is about making short-term cuts.

"But the chickens come home to roost when there are not enough IT skills in place when the sector grows again," he said.

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