COI a "test case" in cuts, says head of events

COI's head of events Simon Hughes says the organisation is a "test case" for government job cuts as the public sector prepares for mass redundancies.

COI director of live events Simon Hughes
COI director of live events Simon Hughes

A total of almost 500,000 public sector jobs will go as part of the government’s comprehensive spending review.

COI job cuts

COI learned in August that 287 jobs – 40% of its 737 staff – will be axed this year.

Trade unions are now in negotiations with the department over the redundancies, which will be finalised on 1 November.

Hughes – who runs the 16-strong events division at COI – said: "There are still quite a lot of interesting discussions going on between the unions and COI generally."

Harder and faster

He added that he expected departments to make detailed decisions on exactly what they would cut from their budgets by January or February.

"Overall there will be much more focused communication but the overriding objective for us is that should come through COI," said Hughes.

"Departments need to make things work harder and faster, and we are the expert procurers in the markets we operate in."

Massive reform

He added the process of "massive reform" in the public sector meant it was "inconceivable" that face-to-face communication would end.

"We have been early through this process and a whole lot of others are going through it now," explained Hughes. "We have been a test case."

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