Outsourcing sector recruitment will increase when government wields the axe

The outsourcing sector could be an opportunity for IT professionals as public sector jobs look set to go as part of the spending cuts.

According to the latest research by PricewaterhouseCoopers almost a million jobs will be lost by government public sector spending cuts. But the company says there will be jobs created in the outsourcing sector.

“A sector likely to see growth opportunities from spending cuts is outsourcing, and not only in back office services. Government and public sector organisations will look to reduce their non-core and fixed cost operations by increasing the use of private and voluntary sector organisations for the delivery of front-line services.”

We have already seen some movement in that direction. Ruth Ormsby, a leading light of the NHS Shared Business Service, is joining Capgemini as Public sector BPO head. This is a high level switch aimed to help Capgemini’s shared services in the public sector push.

We also saw workers at Cleveland Police transfer to Steria to work in its shared services centre targeted at police forces.

But will there be opportunities for public sector IT experts as the government outsources more roles? Or will there just be an initial opportunity, which will disappear quickly as suppliers reach their recruitment targets quickly?

And if the public sector roles are transferred to the private sector how long will it before they are offshored to lower cost locations?

Back to PWC’s point about outsourcing increasing Martyn Hart, chairman of the National Outsourcing Association (NOA), agrees.


He says it is not just about cost but actually involves gaining access to skills in the private sector that can help make huge transformational projects work.


“There are a number of reasons why outsourcing has been primed as one of the sectors to benefit from the public sector cuts, and although it’s true that we could see new jobs created in the private sector, it’s important to recognise that not all of them are linked to cost.  For example, it’s worth remembering that by outsourcing services, the public sector will be able to call on much greater resources.  Organisations in the private sector are structured to be able to deliver some of the larger supply chain requests necessary when dealing with a large, national contract, and can turn them around quickly and easily.”


He also warned the public sector over outsourcing just to save money. “Perhaps the biggest danger is that public sector departments could look to outsource cheaply, at the cost of improved service.  After all, it’s clear that any project initiated on cost alone, is more likely to end in failure.  If performed correctly, however, and for the right reasons, it’s clear that outsourcing can achieve real results for the public sector, and provide lasting employment for private sector workers – not just as a short-term solution.”