Cultural relations organisation The British Council have announces that they are planning to move hundreds of their contractor positions offshore. This is likely to affect non-core functions such as IT services. The British Council receives taxpayer funding but if these plans go ahead, around 250 contractors and freelancers in this country would be let go.
The British Council have also stated that they are currently going through a ‘transformation programme’ which will see them shedding many more contract staff in a bid to save £45 million. They have said that IT positions in their UK operations will be cut down to 100 from 185. They will be seeking replacements in India as they aim to consolidate their UK, Eastern European and Sub-continent IT units. They are also aiming to consolidate their financial centres by reducing their numbers from 5 down to 2. This will mean that forty jobs will be cut across their sites in China, Poland and Mexico.
Chief executive, Martin Davidson said last month, “We are not immune to the external financial pressures facing everyone today. We must adapt to these realities if we are to safeguard and grow our international relations work for the UK in the arts, education, governance, science and sport.”
“We will very shortly be outlining specific proposals for post reductions across the UK and on how we wish to select staff who have volunteered for redundancy.”
The Council previously vowed to work with unions after the potential job cuts came to light back in April, however they are now facing possible legal action due to the lack of consultation on the off-shoring of UK jobs.