9 December 2021

PCS slams outsourcing of Turing Student Exchange scheme to Capita

The British Council previously ran the £110m scheme but was stripped of the contract according to the Guardian in favour of the private consultancy company.

The council has helped hundreds of thousands of young people find work and study placements abroad. There are now major fears the expertise of British Council’s long experience with international educational exchanges will be lost.

PCS said ministers were rewarding their friends in the private sector at the expense of dedicated British council staff.

The latest attack on PCS members at the council follows a consultative ballot where 80% of those British Council staff worldwide who voted, said they would support strike action.

PCS is demanding an end to the 30% staff cuts planned, reassurances for those working on the Turing Exchange scheme and a decent pay rise above the current cost of living. The union also criticised the tendering out of professional services by British Council including IT, finance, and HR.

A PCS spokesperson said: "The decision to end British Council involvement in the Turing Student Exchange scheme is a disgrace. And it is a further slap in the face to staff to see the contract awarded to a profiteering contractor.

"Ministers need to rethink how it is treating British Council staff and the negative affect reducing the role of the council will have on Britain's reputation internationally.

"Our members believe strongly in the role of the British Council and have made clear they are prepared to take strike action. We are not ruling out a statutory ballot in the future."

Here's how you can show your support for British Council workers:

  • Sign our public petition
  • Email foreign secretary Liz Truss
  • Contact your MP and ask them to sign our Early Day Motion
  • Share your support on social media #HandsOffBritishCouncil

Contact PCS to offer your support to our campaign.