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Australian firm cuts almost entire Dubai workforce

Australian firm cuts almost entire Dubai workforce

The cuts came as a surprise to staff, with several recently hired to develop new roles in the Middle East

Australian firm Programmed has reportedly blamed the oil price crash after laying off 11 of its 14 staff in Dubai.

Gulf News cited a spokesperson at the Australian-listed firm as confirming the cuts at its offices in Dubai Knowledge Village.

Programmed made the layoffs “after a review of current market conditions within the oil and gas industry” and an “enhanced focus” on its core competencies in marine and drilling, the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

The company places staff with other firms on a short and long-term basis in sectors including oil and gas.

The cuts came as a surprise to staff, Gulf News said, with several recently hired to develop new roles in the Middle East.

Oil prices have rebounded to around $50 a barrel in recent months from 12-year lows in January and February but are still less than half their 2014 peak.

Programmed’s wider workforce consists of 20,000 staff in Australia and New Zealand and it has offices in the UK, US and Singapore, according to its website.

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