'Profitable' Mi Services cuts staff

"Profitable" IT and management consultancy MI Services Group is slashing a fifth of its workforce in anticipation of worse times ahead.

“Profitable” IT and management consultancy MI Services Group is slashing a fifth of its workforce in anticipation of worse times ahead.

Nine jobs will go in New Zealand, as part of a global restructuring, leaving 44 behind, mostly in Auckland. A “scattering” of staff serve the rest of the country.

Australia loses its Sydney office, with the east coast serviced from Melbourne. In total 30 jobs go in Perth, four in Melbourne and 10 in Sydney, leaving the Australia with 52 staff.

New Zealand Mi Services chief John Quirk says the company has faced worsening conditions in recent months, particularly in the US and UK, and this is expected to continue.

“It’s preparing us for difficult times ahead,” says Quirk.

He admits lay-offs before a slump might seem hasty, “but it’s too late [to do it] when we get there [in recession].”

Quirk says Mi Services is also moving to a “more flexible business model” with a core staff supplemented by contractors, when needed. The job cuts are mainly in administration and “won’t affect service delivery”. They will be implemented over several months while current contracts are serviced.

In recent years, the firm has recruited graduates from Massey University, training them in the US. But they will be retained as “graduates and younger staff are our future”, says Quirk.

“[With the redundancies] the company is moving to a more profitable situation. In New Zealand, we are making profit. In Australia, we have been investing, making money on the west coast, so there is a mixture. The company is still on strong profit,” he says.

Globally, MI Services employs 450 staff across Europe, the US and Australasia, with an annual turnover of £37 million.

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