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70 workers get 12-month extension at Deeside IT firm Accenture

THE future of a Deeside IT business has been secured in the short term, after it announced a new project for its 70 employees.

Accenture, which provides services for ScottishPower, had previously been accused by the Unison and Prospect unions of wanting to outsource staff roles to India in a bid to save £10m a year.

The revelation, which the contractor company did not deny, came after it won a $200m, 10-year contract with ScottishPower.

Plans would have affected the workers who manage the electricity giant’s IT systems from the Pentre site, near Queensferry.

But the planned employee reduction programme, which could have seen up to 190 jobs lost in the UK – including 70 from Deeside – has been ruled out for now.

Alyn and Deeside MP, Mark Tami, had ‘positive’ talks with Accenture bosses during the consultation process.

This week he cautiously welcomed the news that workers had been saved in the short term, but insisted more needed to be done to safeguard jobs at the site for years to come.

He said: “I am hugely relieved workers have been given a further year’s employment, but there is a need to secure long-term jobs at this facility.

“For the time being extensive discussions will give great relief to employees, who deserve to be treated with due respect.”

An Accenture spokesman told the Chronicle: “Since April of this year, Accenture has been engaged in a consultation process with trade union and employee representatives to discuss proposed reductions to its resource requirements on its outsourced engagement with ScottishPower.

“Following further consultations with its client, we have now been able to halt the headcount reduction programme and do not anticipate the need for significant changes to employee numbers for the foreseeable future.”