Wednesday, 12 October 2011

British Army to outsource recruitment

I thought this article might give us some insight into one of the routes some of the British government departments are actively taking in order to stay within their much reduced budgets.  Food for thought ......

Recruiting sergeants get marching orders as enlisting goes civvy street

MoD to outsource the signing up of soldiers – by Gill Plimmer | Financial Times | October 10 2011

When the British army said “Your country needs you” the call was traditionally barded by recruiting sergeants.  But from next year, it will come from quieter men in suits most likely employed by Capita or Serco.

 The two private outsourcing companies have been shortlisted to handle recruitment for the Ministry of Defence.  They are competing for the contract to sign up 9,000 soldiers a year in a deal expected to cover everything from marketing to some areas of training.

 The outsourcing comes as the MoD faces an 8 per cent cut in its £35bn annual budget.  More than 10,000 soldiers are expected to lose their jobs in a government cost-cutting programme that will reduce the army from 101,000 staff now to 90,000 by 2015, with a further reduction to 82,000 by 2020.

The MoD said that more than 9,000 new soldiers will still be needed each year, in part because the army is expanding its part-time force.

 The recruitment contract – to be awarded next month – will be the first of a series of outsourcing deals that will transform the way the British armed services go about their daily business over the next 10 years.

 Other contracts out to tender include a competition to run the MoD’s back-office and finance functions, while there are also plans to outsource the running of all the regional bases, with private groups responsible for everything from barrack construction to catering.

 The MoD said the recruitment contract was aimed at saving £250m over the next 10 years.  It also hopes that the introduction of private providers will improve the quality of recruits and encourage the better deployment of staff, as expensively trained combat soldiers are freed from desk-bound jobs.

 The government spends £17.5bn a year on support functions for the MoD, but just under half of the work has been given to private providers, which argue they can create further savings.  Serco already provides several services, from logistical support at RAF Lyneham and other bases to the UK atomic weapons establishment.

 It also provides career advice to the US army as well as cost analysis support to the multi-national coalition forces in Iraq.

 Capita has contracts with the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force as well as running a back-office recruitment service for the MoD overall.

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