Journeycall Cuts Another 50 Jobs

One of the largest employers in Angus has made 50 redundancies in its latest round of job cuts.

Bosses at the Journeycall call centre in Arbroath said the losses were required due to a sharp decline in customer demand.

The redundancies, a mixture of voluntary and compulsory, are in addition to the 20 jobs lost in the summer.

Journeycall provides customer service support and smartcards for the UK transport industry.

It counts Transport for London and West Midlands Railways among its customers as well as several local authorities.

During last year the decline in people using people using public transport as a result of Covid-19 has been as high as 85% which had a direct impact on revenues.

Theresa Slevin, group chief executive of Journeycall’s parent company ESP Group, said it had been a “challenging” year.

She said: “As key support services in the travel and transport industry, we have faced an unavoidable decline in volume of work – mainly as the numbers of people commuting reduced as a direct result of pandemic.

“However, we continue to implement plans to deliver a sustainable business, and we are working hard to ensure that the business remains strong.

“We continue to explore all options, but, like many other businesses, we have unfortunately had to make redundancies.

“In total, sadly, we have had to make 70 roles across the business redundant via compulsory and voluntary avenues.”

After 20 jobs were lost in July, the second round of cuts came in November.

Journeycall continues to have the majority of its remaining workforce of around 300 staff either on furlough or flexible furlough.

The firm closely monitors the volumes of customers using public transport to determine staffing requirements.

The impact of Covid-19 and the loss of a major contract is shown in newly filed annual accounts for the firm.

Revenues fell from £99.6 million in 2019 to £44.1m for the year ending July 31 2020 – a fall of more than £55m.

Pre-tax profits reduced from £3.8m to £2.8m over the period.

The contract to provide support and sales for the Rail Delivery Group, which operates National Rail, went overseas in the financial year.

Journeycall continues to produce all their national rail cards – an important part of its service portfolio.

Ms Slevin said Journeycall was optimistic at winning major new contracts this year.

She added: “Journeycall has a strong business model and that hasn’t changed, so we continue to retain our existing clients and seek to add new opportunities where we can.

“Since the start of the pandemic, Journeycall has had contract extensions with Transport for London and Stagecoach (Northern).

“These highlight the strong, longstanding and successful relationships that we have with our clients.

“We are also exploring opportunities in new areas. There is good business out there for us to win.

“We are currently in the latter stages of a number of tenders. We are hoping for some new contract wins this year.”

Ms Slevin added that she is proud of the “loyalty, expertise and adaptability” workers have shown.

She said the Arbroath company had played a “crucial role” by helping millions of people travel safely to work.

The firm also offered its services to provide contact service support as part of the vaccine rollout programme.

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