UK’s largest contractor set to take on subcontractors and materials suppliers in long-term partnering agreements to win repeat work with big clients.

AMEC is poised to hand 16 subcontractors and materials suppliers long-term agreements.

The move is intended to help Amec provide a well-managed supply chain for capital projects and services work carried out for major repeat clients such as BAA and BNFL.

The move is also intended to help the company win work with the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Estates under its prime contracting procurement regime.

The key 16, which Amec says will include all kinds of goods and services suppliers, emerged from a list of 60 that were asked to submit prequalification documents earlier this year.

Amec director Tony Williams said: “We are saying to our suppliers: ‘We have this contract with client x to supply it with y over this amount of time. We have to perform to this level, so you will need to as well.’”

Amec is also spending £1m next year on training 200 managers to take charge of all of the firm’s services. The move is a result of a review carried out by consultant Soma, which produced a report in July. Williams said: “The report found that we still have a bunker mentality between the different divisions in Amec.

“A key focus for the training will be on working within teams and allowing managers to be solely responsible for all of one client’s dealings with the Amec group. The client doesn’t care if it is Amec civils or Amec offshore; it’s all Amec.“

Last week, Amec chief executive Peter Mason told a Treasury conference in London that his firm would spend more than £4m on training in the coming year. “For a business with construction industry margins, that’s a big investment,” said Mason.

He also revealed Amec’s role models: “Our benchmarks are companies like Sony and Coca-Cola. They occupy the sort of position in their sector that we want in ours.”

Batey leaves Amec for United Utilities

Amec finance director Simon Batey is leaving the company to become finance director of United Utilities. Batey, 46, has been in the post for seven years. He will stay with Amec until the end of March next year. Amec is already recuriting a replacement. Six names have been drawn up, including two internal candidates. A favourite for the job could be Chris Bunker, who is finance director of building materials firm Tarmac, which is being bought by Anglo-American.