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Union Fury As Civil Service Outsources Jobs To India

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Union fury as civil service outsources jobs to India

More than 100 jobs at the British Council are to be outsourced to India as part of a massive cost-cutting drive to save the taxpayer money, The Times has learnt.

The decision to recruit local Indian workers to fill finance and IT posts has infuriated unions, who fear that this could be the blueprint for Whitehall.

It is believed to be the first time that the Civil Service or a quango has directly exported jobs to save costs. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which funds the British Council, is exploring similar options. A spokesman said that administrative jobs could be carried out by local staff in regional hubs overseas.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which represents civil servants, said that the British Council decision went against Gordon Brown’s stated principle of “British jobs for British people†and could not be justified during a recession.

The council, which promotes British culture and language abroad, said that 500 of its 1,300 British workers would have to go in the next 18 months to save £45 million. More than a fifth of these posts are to be filled in India and the body plans to bring some of the Indian recruits over to “shadow†finance staff in Manchester.

The proposals coincide with the Treasury’s review of quangos, which cost the taxpayer £64 billion a year. The Treasury wants to cut or merge as many as possible. David Cameron has pledged a “bonfire of quangos†if the Tories win the next general election.

Martin Davidson, the British Council’s chief executive, said that 280 of the 500 back-office staff to be cut were permanent and the remainder were agency, part-time or contract staff. The body received £205 million from the taxpayer this year. He said that its budget had already been cut by 10 per cent and that he had drawn up a further £25 million in efficiency savings. It makes about £450 million from its commercial programme including language and teaching courses.

The Times has seen documents showing that the quango is considering plans to cut 80 per cent or 800 of its permanent staff to just 240 within five years. However, Mr Davidson said that this had not been discussed by the council executive or trustees and that there were no proposals to implement cutbacks beyond next year. He said that finance staff had looked at a series of scenarios involving heavier job losses but that these were “not part of discussions in any sense whatsover.†He acknowledged that such cuts would involve “catastrophic†changes to the programmes that the council wanted to deliver.

The PCS is furious that jobs are to go to India. A spokesman, Dave Cliff, said: “We think it is an absolute disgrace. The British Council is an educational and cultural organisation to support British culture, but a big part of this organisation is now going to be based abroad.â€The union is considering lodging a tribunal application because management failed to consult them over the job changes. It claims that staff at the British Council are civil servants since they belong to the Civil Service Pension scheme. Mr Davidson said that technically they were public servants.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said that it was unlikely that Whitehall departments would send jobs offshore, partly for security reasons.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “The FCO is working actively to deliver cost savings and to ensure that as much of our resource as possible is focused on frontline activity delivering for the UK. We therefore fully understand the British Council’s efforts in that direction.â€

Mr Davidson said that he hoped that most of the cuts could be made through voluntary redundancies. “Our spending power overseas has been hit by the fall in the value of sterling in the last year,†he said. “To ensure that we continue to spend as much of the money we receive from the taxpayer as possible on our programmes abroad, we are cutting our running costs by creating leaner, lighter and more effective administrative and back-office functions.â€

Final decisions about which jobs will go to India will be taken in the next few weeks, but they are expected to include 58 finance posts, up to 40 IT posts and 15 posts for a new centre of excellence. About half the jobs to be cut will be in education and teaching. Some of these areas will have to be contracted out to voluntary groups or local authorities.

Aww snookums!

What do you expect? We friggin import plastic crap from China, Malaysia, India, and elsewhere for pence and slave labour, yet bark when India takes our jobs?

Whats a call centre employee make here? £15,000-25,000k p.a.? India pays about £2,500 p.a. for exactly the same service, or actually better as this is considered good wages.

Wake up. Get used to it.

More on it's way.

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".....The council, which promotes British culture and language abroad, said that 500 of its 1,300 British workers would have to go in the next 18 months to save £45 million....."

AVERAGE employee cost = £90,000. Nice work if you can get it.

p-o-p

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".....The council, which promotes British culture and language abroad, said that 500 of its 1,300 British workers would have to go in the next 18 months to save £45 million....."

AVERAGE employee cost = £90,000. Nice work if you can get it.

p-o-p

Wowsa. 90/2.5 = 36 higly trained and motivated Indian call centre workers.

Simple maths.

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meh whatever you say mate

whatever way you look at it it is not sustainable

UK will collapse , the economy has been undermined too much now.they are offshoring council jobs ffs , what are english people actually supposed to work as? there will be no jobs left the way it's going

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I fail to see why its amusing in any way. Whilst it is the modern economic reality it is also the reason the UK is a sh1t hole with no jobs and no-one can afford to buy a modest house any more.

No doubt the 3p tax saved for some rich banker will be well received.

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Wowsa. 90/2.5 = 36 higly trained and motivated Indian call centre workers.

Simple maths.

Deeply flawed maths actually. Pay to British based workers circulates in the economy with the government taking: at least 34% back immediately + a rake off on everything they spend + taxing the interest on any they save. Money paid out to staff in India is gone.

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... we have no choice but to privatize and outsource.

You have the choice to pay a little more and support people.

Just as 15% yoy increases in house prices are fantasy world unsustainable BS so too is the constant removal of UK jobs.

A few idiot fantasists might think it will/cannot happen to them but they are wrong. Even if you are lucky and still in work the ever increasing numbers of people who are put out of work by this nonsense will swell the welfare bill - fewer workers - bigger bill - higher tax rate.

Add in the fact that this is further stretching the UK balance of payment deficit as overseas workers need to be paid in non sterling.

Britain threw away its manufacturing industry as a result of the utter drivel spouted about the benefits of "globalisation" and the "free market", soon the "wonderful" service industries will go the same way. All that will be left is a country of old people in retirement homes looked after by Fillipinos and total dependent on a massive hand out from the EU.

Edited by non frog

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meh whatever you say mate

whatever way you look at it it is not sustainable

UK will collapse , the economy has been undermined too much now.they are offshoring council jobs ffs , what are english people actually supposed to work as? there will be no jobs left the way it's going

Quite. It's all very well laughing because they're public sector jobs but outsourcing's a very worrying trend. It's hitting mostly call centres and IT at the moment but there's no reason I can think of why it can't and won't hit any job that can be done remotely - accountancy (I've never actually met my accountant), some legal, design (web and print) are a few examples.

However, if they outsource all the banksters' jobs for a salary of £2,500k a year and a £50 bonus, then I will be laughing, even if we're fooked!

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Deeply flawed maths actually. Pay to British based workers circulates in the economy with the government taking: at least 34% back immediately + a rake off on everything they spend + taxing the interest on any they save. Money paid out to staff in India is gone.

Absolutely agree. Plus the British Council at least does something useful. It acts as a kind of cultural ambassador, local knowledge base and Chamber of Commerce for Brits doing business overseas. I had some help and useful contacts from the British Council in Vilnius and I was impressed.

The Electoral Commission (the No Wrongoing Authority), parliamentary commissions, special advisors and consultants to Westminster could all go and no one would miss them.

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Cant see even this shower viewing off shoring govt jobs as a serious option - sounds more like the latest shot at the unions to get some movement in the pensions/costs artguments

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Absolutely agree. Plus the British Council at least does something useful. It acts as a kind of cultural ambassador, local knowledge base and Chamber of Commerce for Brits doing business overseas. I had some help and useful contacts from the British Council in Vilnius and I was impressed.

The Electoral Commission (the No Wrongoing Authority), parliamentary commissions, special advisors and consultants to Westminster could all go and no one would miss them.

Did they try and recruit you as a spy?

p-o-p

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I fail to see why its amusing in any way. Whilst it is the modern economic reality it is also the reason the UK is a sh1t hole with no jobs and no-one can afford to buy a modest house any more.

It is certainly good news, and I don't see that a bit of schadenfreude is such a crime. We send (presumably) simple work to India where it can be done for much less than over here. The Indians (or whoever they sell their pounds to) will import something from Britain to compensate. The net effect is to lower taxes, increase demand for British exports, and it also frees some really good people worth 90k each to do something more productive. The state will still get to clobber the exporter with taxes. Winners all round in the long term?

Of course, the redundant employees might not be able to find similarly well paid employment. I don't see that makes a difference: 90k each will easily pay for their benefits and the Indians to actually do the work, with plenty still left over for the taxpayer.

Edited by MongerOfDoom

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Guest X-QUORK

Simon Cowell and Sir Phillip Green are in talks with the Tata Group to offshore the entire United Kingdom. County by county, the UK will be broken up and shipped out to India for reassembly in the Hindustan shipyard. The move has been welcomed by the CBI who claim it will save up to 50,000 jobs in the hard-pressed Indian ship building sector.

It is believed that the island of Lundy will remain in its current location and become the new administrative capital of the UK.

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frees some really good people worth 90k each to do something more productive.

I doubt (m)any of these people are on 90k salaries. I should imagine there is a nice big saving in not having to rent the premise for them anymore, and then of course if you want to pay some one £x you have to put aside £y for all the other stuff like employers NI, employers pensions contributions, admin etc. I have no idea what the differential is, although I seem to recall last time I had someone priced up by HR they basically said double the salary to cover all the extras including rent. The same applies to the Indian jobs, that 2.5k salary will only be part of what needs to be paid - the call centre will presumably charge significantly more.

Not saying that there aren't saving's to be made, just that I doubt this is 500 top level salary earners that are about to get dumped.

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Simon Cowell and Sir Phillip Green are in talks with the Tata Group to offshore the entire United Kingdom. County by county, the UK will be broken up and shipped out to India for reassembly in the Hindustan shipyard. The move has been welcomed by the CBI who claim it will save up to 50,000 jobs in the hard-pressed Indian ship building sector.

It is believed that the island of Lundy will remain in its current location and become the new administrative capital of the UK.

:lol: Good one.

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I totally disagree with the sentiments of most posts made on this topic. Allowing a lot of flab in an organisation is daft and I agree that any public sector activity should be subject to rigourous scrutiny of what and how it does things.

However, I can see no case for off-shoring these jobs. It is a balance of payments loss. It raises the benefits bill and there is no recirculation of the spend.

Never mind, some managers will get a bonus or extra increment.

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Union fury as civil service outsources jobs to India

Aww snookums!

What do you expect? We friggin import plastic crap from China, Malaysia, India, and elsewhere for pence and slave labour, yet bark when India takes our jobs?

Whats a call centre employee make here? £15,000-25,000k p.a.? India pays about £2,500 p.a. for exactly the same service, or actually better as this is considered good wages.

The problem with this is there's a 90% saving on the wage bill but other costs make the total saving only about 30%.

When Indian wages increase to a point where they are only 80% cheaper than the UK the other costs will make them more expensive to emply and the costs will just go up from there.

But by that time we will have lost all the UK skills in the sector and wont be able to bring the jobs back.

tim

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Never mind, some managers will get a bonus or extra increment.

From what I`ve seen of outsourcing in the past this is very true -and irrespective of whether the scheme is effective or not senior management will ensure it appears so.

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However, I can see no case for off-shoring these jobs. It is a balance of payments loss. It raises the benefits bill and there is no recirculation of the spend.

Surely the savings either leads to cuts in taxes or gets spent on some other government projects.

Also, 90k is the cost of an employee. Not the wage. The employer still needs to provide office space, plumbing, electricity, technology, heating, legal and Human Resources coverage etc.

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