Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan has today [Monday 23 May] welcomed the confirmation that 150 jobs will be safeguarded at the Newport Passport Office.
Home Office Minister Damian Green announced today the outcome of the consultation on the proposed changes at Newport Passport Office. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has reaffirmed its commitment to Wales by establishing a customer service centre of excellence, as part of proposals to restructure is operations
From March 2012, the IPS will cease the processing of postal and online applications at Newport. IPS will continue to provide a customer service centre at Newport serving South Wales and the South West of England and Newport will be the centre of a range of customer support services on behalf of the regional network. There will be 150 full-time equivalent posts at Newport.
Mrs Gillan said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to safeguard 150 Welsh jobs at Newport Passport Office. Since the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) announcement last October, the Wales Office have worked closely in partnership with the IPS to secure as many jobs as possible at Newport.
“Today’s announcement by Immigration Minister Damian Green means in addition to the 50 jobs secured for the customer service centre last October, a further 100 jobs will be located at Newport to provide customer services across the IPS network. The public consultation on the closure proposals was extended and today’s announcement shows we have listened and responded to the concerns of local people.”
Home Office Minister Damian Green said: “We have always been committed to retaining a Passport Office to serve the people of Wales and after listening hard to what people have told us we will retain 150 posts at Newport, significantly more than originally proposed.
“I appreciate this will be a difficult time for staff in our Newport office, but we have sought to reduce the impact of these difficulty decisions as possible whilst making the savings and efficiencies we need to see across the business. The Identity and Passport Service will continue to work closely with other Government departments, the local authorities and other agencies to find alternative opportunities and provide support to those people affected.”
The announcement follows an extended 150-day consultation period with staff, trade unions and interested parties. A summary of responses to the consultation are available at the ‘Publications’ link on www.ips.gsi.gov.uk