Engineering consultancy Aurecon latest to cut Australian staff

03 April 2023 Consultancy.com.au 2 min. read
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Around 70 professionals have been sacked by Australian design and engineering advisory Aurecon, marking the latest in an ongoing series of professional services retrenchments rocking the sector.

The wave of redundancies in the tech sector and at a growing number of consulting firms continues to spread, with Aurecon the latest to shed staff. According to a report by News.com.au, the design and engineering consultancy has cut around 70 of its local employees, from a team of approximately 4,300.

The news comes as McKinsey & Company’s slated cull gets underway, with 20 people now let go locally according to the latest updates.

Engineering consultancy Aurecon latest to cut Australian staff

Yet, while McKinsey and Accenture have stated that they will primarily target back-office and support staff to reduce operational costs, with the latter due to slash almost 20,000 jobs globally, the Aurecon retrenchments may signal a disturbing new phase, with the job losses said to be across the firm’s design, engineering and advisory arms. An unknown number of personnel have also been shifted into different departments.

Despite continuing to recruit due to ongoing growth in a number of sectors, Aurecon cited a change in demand for services for the “regrettable” layoffs, which are said to include senior members of staff. “We have spoken with individuals who are affected directly and are supporting these people,” said company spokesperson.

Also unknown is the geographical spread of the local employees to have been cut. Aurecon has almost twenty outlets across Australia and New Zealand, including in each state and territory capital and a regional footprint the length of the Queensland coast. Former Deloitte Australia chief executive Giam Swiegers has served as Aurecon chairman since early 2021.

At the time of his appointment, the world economy was bouncing back from the impacts of the global pandemic, spurring a particularly buoyant advisory market, but has since experienced a great deal of turbulence. While early hits to tech sector stocks could be seen as a natural correction, with widespread job losses a result, the more recent consulting contraction and collapse of a number of financial institutions are a growing concern.

Aurecon itself serves clients in a wide variety of sectors, including energy, defence, manufacturing, transport and construction, although the latter industry has also witnessed a slew of recent local collapses due to interest rate hikes, supply chain disruptions, and the spiralling cost of materials. It’s estimated a dozen builders have hit the skids so far this year, including EQ Constructions and PBS owing up to $75 million combined.