Minister's letter sparks offshoring fears for Newport service centre

CONCERNS have been raised again that UK Government jobs currently based in Newport could go offshore after a letter from a minister didn’t rule it out.

The Ministry of Justice shared service centre in Newport’s Celtic Springs is facing possible privatisation, with officials looking at two different firms to take it over.

Justice secretary Chris Grayling told Newport East MP Jessica Morden that one joint public-private venture in the running for the work needs to be in line with other such firms that often offshore jobs.

Ms Morden has attacked the UK Government over the letter – claiming remarks by the prime minister that the UK was to become a reshoring nation rang hollow.

Around 1000 full-time, casual and agency staff work at the Newport service centre.

Mr Grayling explains that the ministry is looking at two options – one of which is a joint venture that the UK Government has already signed an agreement to run with Steria Limited.

The company, 25 per cent owned by government, has committed to no compulsory redundancies in the first six months of operation.

But Mr Grayling says for the company to be “a competitive and viable business” it needs to be “in line with other companies of this kind, which often see some non-customer facing transactional roles being sourced offshore.”

The new company, Shared Services Connected Limited, will include a number of existing shared service centres, including work from the Department of Work and Pensions and the Environment Agency.

Labour Newport East MP Jessica Morden said: “So much for David Cameron’s warm words when he announced his plan to make Britain the 're-shore nation'. The minister's letter clearly shows what a hollow promise this is.

“It’s clear the Government are pursuing policies that will potentially put Newport jobs at risk of off shoring. We’ll be working with the PCS union and pressing for a meeting with the ministry to make it clear how unacceptable this is.”

Darren Williams, acting secretary of the PCS union in Wales, said it was “disturbing to see the minister acknowledge in such detail that the government is actively considering the privatisation” of the centre.

He said the category of “non customer facing transactional roles” could include most of the work currently done in Newport.

Labour Newport West MP Paul Flynn said: “Efficient, good value Newport jobs that deliver a splendid service are under threat because of the Government’s political prejudices.”

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "The department is considering options for the future delivery of back office admin services. All options will be evaluated to make sure they provide value for taxpayers' money.

"We will work with staff, trade unions and other stakeholders to assess any impacts on staff."

Comments (10)

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3:01pm Mon 24 Feb 14

whatintheworld says...

Not only will this leave 1000 people without a job, work within the ministry for justice is going to grind to a crawl.

Shared services are central, ranging from grants to hr - the whole department use them. Now, if any staff want to get something done, they'll need to ring Raj in India... great idea!
Not only will this leave 1000 people without a job, work within the ministry for justice is going to grind to a crawl. Shared services are central, ranging from grants to hr - the whole department use them. Now, if any staff want to get something done, they'll need to ring Raj in India... great idea! whatintheworld
  • Score: 6

3:14pm Mon 24 Feb 14

no cheese says...

Here we go again! More wrong choices by large companies in a bid to save money. Saving money doesn't always provide a better service. I have said it before and will say it again. If we don't secure jobs in the uk and provide jobs with prospects our children will have nothing to go into when it is time. I wanted a better more hopeful outlook on life and the future. Unfortunately government and the large companies are not providing me with this. We need a massive turn around to help us provide a better life for the people in newportand to secure any possible future for our children. A job should be for life not just grab what you can.
Here we go again! More wrong choices by large companies in a bid to save money. Saving money doesn't always provide a better service. I have said it before and will say it again. If we don't secure jobs in the uk and provide jobs with prospects our children will have nothing to go into when it is time. I wanted a better more hopeful outlook on life and the future. Unfortunately government and the large companies are not providing me with this. We need a massive turn around to help us provide a better life for the people in newportand to secure any possible future for our children. A job should be for life not just grab what you can. no cheese
  • Score: 6

6:04pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Dave on his Soapbox says...

.....on a recent BBC news piece....there was an industry expert stating that recent pay rises in China were making companies to look at bring manufacturing back to the UK....but one problem was there is now a lack of equipment or skilled people to do the work.....
Blinkered decisions can have wider long term problems that cannot be resolved overnight and can cause problems elsewhere in the economy.....
The trouble is government departments and those 'at the top' don't look outside their immediate remit or the consequences to the individual or greater society that the loss of local employment brings to a locality....
.....on a recent BBC news piece....there was an industry expert stating that recent pay rises in China were making companies to look at bring manufacturing back to the UK....but one problem was there is now a lack of equipment or skilled people to do the work..... Blinkered decisions can have wider long term problems that cannot be resolved overnight and can cause problems elsewhere in the economy..... The trouble is government departments and those 'at the top' don't look outside their immediate remit or the consequences to the individual or greater society that the loss of local employment brings to a locality.... Dave on his Soapbox
  • Score: 7

6:36pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Dave on his Soapbox says...

...the other aspect totally forgotten about was the millions of taxpayers money spent on refurbishing the building....includin
g the top notch communications...com
puter equipment government departments have.....not forgetting the car park extension that was also provided at taxpayers expense.....
If government departments didn't spend our money these over the top facilities...which those of us in the private sector can only dream about.....
this operation would be run much more economically in the first place...negating the need to sell it off to a profit making company...
...the other aspect totally forgotten about was the millions of taxpayers money spent on refurbishing the building....includin g the top notch communications...com puter equipment government departments have.....not forgetting the car park extension that was also provided at taxpayers expense..... If government departments didn't spend our money these over the top facilities...which those of us in the private sector can only dream about..... this operation would be run much more economically in the first place...negating the need to sell it off to a profit making company... Dave on his Soapbox
  • Score: -1

6:44pm Mon 24 Feb 14

cannit says...

How long will it take them to confirm the details of prisoners, prison staff, judges, court staff, witnesses, jurors, etc are not particularly appropriate for off shoring or are we assuming these overseas countries are more secure?
How long will it take them to confirm the details of prisoners, prison staff, judges, court staff, witnesses, jurors, etc are not particularly appropriate for off shoring or are we assuming these overseas countries are more secure? cannit
  • Score: 2

10:49pm Mon 24 Feb 14

phillyman says...

Originally posted several weeks ago but oddly the figure has now grown from 700 to 100 jobs. http://www.southwale
sargus.co.uk/news/gw
entnews/10982927.Pri
vatisation_probe_spa
rks_Newport_jobs_wor
ry/?ref=arc

It will also affect jobs in another company providing services to central government in Newport.

All a PR stunt new offices opened with promises of growth and jobs for Newport - http://www.uksbs.co.
uk/NEWS/Pages/defaul
t.aspx

Then as I commented at the time on the original post stripped away in the next slight of hand -

http://www.steria.co
m/uk/media-centre/pr
ess-releases/press-r
eleases/article/ster
ia-awarded-major-uk-
government-contract-
to-transform-shared-
services-and-help-dr
ive-civil-servic/
Originally posted several weeks ago but oddly the figure has now grown from 700 to 100 jobs. http://www.southwale sargus.co.uk/news/gw entnews/10982927.Pri vatisation_probe_spa rks_Newport_jobs_wor ry/?ref=arc It will also affect jobs in another company providing services to central government in Newport. All a PR stunt new offices opened with promises of growth and jobs for Newport - http://www.uksbs.co. uk/NEWS/Pages/defaul t.aspx Then as I commented at the time on the original post stripped away in the next slight of hand - http://www.steria.co m/uk/media-centre/pr ess-releases/press-r eleases/article/ster ia-awarded-major-uk- government-contract- to-transform-shared- services-and-help-dr ive-civil-servic/ phillyman
  • Score: 0

11:18am Tue 25 Feb 14

BobEvams2014 says...

These are just non jobs created by the last labour Government- keyboard proders being paid a fortune, I heard some of them earn as much as 18k.

Sack them all I say, and put them on workfare !!!!!
These are just non jobs created by the last labour Government- keyboard proders being paid a fortune, I heard some of them earn as much as 18k. Sack them all I say, and put them on workfare !!!!! BobEvams2014
  • Score: -11

12:30pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Bobevans says...

They are not looking abroad but it will be located in North East England
They are not looking abroad but it will be located in North East England Bobevans
  • Score: -1

12:39pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Bobevans says...

Welsh Language Commissioner offers staff exit scheme

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-wales-26332
264
Welsh Language Commissioner offers staff exit scheme http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-wales-26332 264 Bobevans
  • Score: -1

1:11pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Magor says...

It make me wonder if firms in that area even want to be in Newport,some of their websites state" near Cardiff."
It make me wonder if firms in that area even want to be in Newport,some of their websites state" near Cardiff." Magor
  • Score: 1

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