PROs in Wales face redundancy after quango cull

Welsh public sector PROs at all levels are bracing themselves for future job cuts.

Redundancies are expected over the next 20 months following the decision by the Welsh Assembly to fold three quangos, including the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) and the Welsh Tourist Board (WTB).

So-called ‘back office’ staff are expected to bear the brunt of the cull.

‘There could be economies in these departments to put more resources into the front line. And there will be areas that overlap when these operations amalgamate,’ said assembly senior press officer Simon Jenkins.

‘But it will be business as usual until the end of the review, which is due for completion by April 2006. It will be our job to keep informed and reassure all communications staff,’ he added.

First minister Rhodri Morgan announced the shake-up last week, confirming jobs will be lost among the 1,500 staff at WTB, WDA and Elwa, which deals with non-university education for school leavers.

Morgan said that job losses were ‘the consequence of the [Welsh Assembly] announcement’.

The decision provoked the protest resignation of WDA chief executive Graham Hawker. Morgan has since asked Hawker to return, and has reportedly visited all departments to ‘reassure’ staff.

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