Kier Group will take on up to 200 civil engineering staff employed by collapsed giant Carillion in order to fulfil road and rail contracts the two companies had been working on together.
The firm said 150 Carillion people working on smart motorway projects, including the £200m M60 Junction 8 to M62 Junction 20 scheme, would be taken on this week.
A further 50 are expected to transfer over on projects for the UK’s planned high-speed railway, HS2.
It has been reported that another approximately 80 Carillion staff working on the £550m Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route will be offered jobs by the remaining joint-venture firms Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try.
The news will have relieved UK transport secretary Chris Grayling, who was criticised for his department’s awarding of contracts to JVs involving Carillion after the company’s shocking profit warnings last year.
In a statement Grayling said: "This announcement demonstrates the strength and purpose of the joint venture contracts agreed on HS2 works and the smart motorways programme. These have enabled Kier and Eiffage to step in as planned and guarantee continued employment, apprenticeships and the seamless delivery of these vital projects."
He added: "HS2 and Highways England carried out at the point of award, additional due diligence to ensure, even without Carillion, these projects would continue. Both Highways England and HS2 will, of course, continue to monitor the situation."
Kier’s chief executive Haydn Mursell said: "We have been working collaboratively with our clients and are pleased to have reached agreement with Government.
"We have been able to take action quickly and reassure the project teams that they continue to play an important role in the delivery of these contracts."
Image: Carillion employed approximately 20,000 people in the UK, and 43,000 in total around the world, before its collapse on 14 January 2018 (Carillion)