British Council advises government departments on offshoring

The British Council is to advise other government-funded bodies that are planning to outsource jobs to India.

Last year, the Council moved its finance and IT departments to Delhi, which created around 180 jobs over there. That move UK unions who were told the plan involved slashing a total of around 500 jobs from the organisation, including 85 IT jobs.

At the time, the Council's move prompted fears that other government departments would follow suit and offshore IT roles. And this was before the government's Comprehensive Spending Review last year, which demanded that government departments slash budgets and get more value for money.

At the time of outsourcing move, the British Council said its "transformation programme will create leaner, lighter administrative and back-office functions, and more effective global support services".

After going through the outsourcing process, Martin Davidson, chief executive of the British Council, said the organisation had made itself "significantly more efficient". He said the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development have now "shown an interest" in its experiences.

"We are open to more informal sharing of our learning and - where it makes financial sense - to working closely with other parts of the public sector over the coming years," said Davidson.