UP to 50 jobs are to go at one of York’s largest employers, as it continues to restructure.

On Friday Shepherd Group told staff in Portasilo, its engineering business based in Huntington, that a 30-day consultation would begin on Monday.

It has around 70 staff but a company spokesman said Shepherd Group wanted to focus on fewer sectors and would not need as many staff. The consultation affects 50 staff.

The spokesman said it was not yet clear exactly how many would be made redundant, but said it could be all 50.

He said: “The eventual number of redundant positions will be dependent on the outcome of this consultation process.”

Portasilo makes and installs storage and handling systems for dry bulk materials, but has been hit by the decline of that market.

The spokesman said: “Consequently, it has now been decided to reposition Portasilo by exiting several market sectors, enabling the business to be more focused and sector-specific.

“This proposed restructure will reduce some of the current business activities and result in a subsequent reduction of the current Portasilo workforce while retaining the resources necessary to allow the business to move forward.

York Press:

“It is anticipated that potentially up to 50 positions across all departments could become redundant.”

He said Shepherd Group as a whole remained one of York’s largest private employers, with around 1,300 employees in York and around 30 apprentices in its most successful business, Portakabin.

The group has been undergoing a long-running restructure, to focus on the more successful areas of its business.

Last year, it confirmed it was selling one of its three divisions to Surrey-based Wates Group, meaning the transfer of 1,200 jobs. The division was made up of Shepherd Construction, Shepherd Engineering Services and Shepherd FM, all part of the Group’s Built Environment division.

The spokesman said: “It’s a longer, ongoing process, looking at the businesses we have got with the aim of making them more profitable, and focusing on those that are more sustainable.”

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said he planned to contact the company to discuss whether there was any potential for staff to be given replacement roles in the company and to see whether he could help those affected.

He said: "My thoughts will be with those staff and families of staff facing potential redundancy."