Mick Sutton, director at Chelmsford-based Capri Mechanical, said: 'We have employed the majority of the mechanical fitters along with their estimator, all of which are well qualified tradesmen with a wealth of experience. Hopefully, they will blend in with our system and provide additional strength to our business.
“Labour is now an issue in this industry. We knew the guys were good tradesmen and knew what they were capable of so we were happy to take them on.”
Mr Sutton said the market for m&e services remained relatively buoyant with public sector work providing a good source of contracts alongside private sector projects. However, he said prompt payment was an important issue.
Mr Sutton said: “It is true late payments are effecting reputable contractors such as Warners and Franklin M&E. We have been in the M&E sector since 1974, the problem of payment has always been an issue but the last few years it seems to be a way of life in the industry.
“This, coupled with the difficulty of getting retentions paid anywhere near on time, places us all under unnecessary pressures we could all do without.”
Administrator Tenon Group confirmed it was continuing to look into the finances of Franklin M&E. The company had been potentially owed up to £500,000, but this was subject to a number of contractural disputes.
A spokesman said: “A lot of the debts owed are disputed so it will take quite a long while for any assets to be realized – potentially 12 months.”