Booth Welsh saves 17 jobs by snapping up ABB team

ENGINEERING staff at ABB in East Kilbride have avoided the prospect of spending Christmas on the dole after Ayrshire firm Booth Welsh Automation hired the entire team.

Seventeen professional and support workers were snapped up by family-owned BWA after Swiss multinational ABB closed its Scottish engineering services office at the end of November. They now form the main backbone of a new BWA consulting division headed by Muir Porter, who was previously in charge of the same team at ABB.

All have now transferred to BWA's headquarters in Stevenston, where founder John Welsh set up the business in 1989 and now employs 300 staff.

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"It made perfect sense for us to acquire the entire team," said Welsh, the company's chairman. "Not only do the skills complement our existing staff base, they allow us to accelerate our plans to expand into process engineering and consultancy services.

"As well as safeguarding these jobs, we have been able to create a new division almost overnight, offering an exciting new service to existing clients whilst creating career development opportunities for the staff."

The acquisition will strengthen BWA's hand in process engineering, which focuses on regulating chemical and biological processes in fields such as the petrochemical, food, pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.