UKTI to axe 23 jobs in events restructure

Government department UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is to restructure its events delivery with a loss of 23 jobs.

UKTI to restructure events delivery
UKTI to restructure events delivery

Probe

The department has carried out a probe into its trade development and marketing groups, and is planning to outsource events management by April 2013, C&IT has learned.

A tender process for a new prime contractor will begin in November and a streamlined in-house events team of five will manage the appointed agency, with a larger team involved in other aspects of events delivery.

However, all events staff across the trade development and marketing groups will go through the restructure process, with 23 set to lose their jobs from 31 March 2013.

It is expected the new contractor will deliver all events, which last year amounted to 15,000 activities, including business sector-based events and inward and outward trade missions.

The work will also include managing third party suppliers, of which there are currently 59.

UKTI Sector Activity Framework

The decision to appoint a contractor from next year comes at the same time as UKTI is poised to announce a separate framework comprising up to 39 suppliers covering sector specific event management in the UK and overseas.

The UKTI Sector Activity Framework, divided into nine separate lots valued at up to £10m over two years, includes exhibitions, conferences, seminars, and trade missions and was originally put out to tender in March.

A UKTI representative told C&IT: "We appreciate that suppliers have just submitted a tender for a framework agreement. The framework will continue to be open to the rest of UKTI, BIS, FCO and other government departments - as advertised. The current procurement for that framework is therefore not affected and we will continue with the current process."

Government Procurement Service

Meanwhile, the Government Procurement Service is also running frameworks covering live event production – previously run by COI – due to end on 30 November 2013. It revealed in the summer that events would no longer be included in its creative services framework.

A Government Procurement Service spokesman said: "We have developed a new centralised approach to support communications needs across the UK public sector. The new model will be phased in, using current frameworks to deliver the service during the transition period."

Former COI director of live events, and Eventia chairman, Simon Hughes said: "It is a very confused situation."

But according to the UKTI, existing Government frameworks "do not have the detailed sector and technical knowledge required to deliver most of UKTI's event activities".

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