Union sounds alarm over Jobcentre outsourcing

Plans revealed in Labour’s election manifesto could lead to the outsourcing of Jobcentre functions, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) claimed today.

Pointing to a commitment in the manifesto to “welcome new independent and voluntary sector partners to provide job-seeking services”, the union called for reassurances from Labour that it would not pave the way to the wholesale outsourcing of Jobcentre functions.

With the manifesto also reaffirming Labour’s plans to axe more than 100,000 civil and public service jobs, including Jobcentre staff, the union fears that some Jobcentre functions would be outsourced in a bid by the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus to reach its target to cut 30,000 jobs.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We hope that Labour will give the thousands of hardworking civil servants who have delivered the government’s successes, such as the New Deal and Sure Start, many of whom face the axe, reassurances that they don’t now face the additional whammy of outsourcing.”

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