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Serco awarded contract by Belgian Ministry of Defence to provide services at Saffraanberg Royal Military School

Published: 5 Jul 2021

Photo credit: to Belgian Defence, Saffraanberg Campus.

Serco in Belgium has been awarded a new contract with the Belgian Ministry of Defence to manage facility services at the site of the Royal School of Non-Commissioned Officers (ERSO) in Saffraanberg. This initiative is in line with the Belgian Ministry of Defence’s strategic vision. The contract, which is worth almost €70m over a period of ten years aims to provide the Ministry of Defence with a better level of service, strengthen its core business and make cost savings.

The decision to assign essential support services for the Royal School of Non-Commissioned Officers to Serco Belgium, the Serco group’s Belgian subsidiary, follows the success of contracts signed in 2018 to support the military barracks in Heverlee and Meerdaal.

Lieutenant-Colonel Christoph Berlaimont commented: ‘Each barracks has its own contract with a service provider which deploys staff permanently on-site. Most of the services which we are outsourcing to Serco Belgium used to be performed internally. By entrusting the management of them to an external partner who is a professional in this field, we can improve the availability and quality of these services. Moreover, when they are performed by smaller, more professional teams, there is a significant impact on our budget. In Heverlee and Meerdaal, the Ministry of Defence made savings of more than 10%.’

The Saffraanberg campus is used by all non-commissioned officers for their basic training. Every year, approximately 500 new students join ERSO, with more than 1,200 people present on campus every day. This training prepares them both to lead teams and to successfully complete planned field manoeuvres.

Between now and the end of the year, Serco will take responsibility for no less than 14 services for a duration of 10 years: from cleaning, catering, accommodation, waste management, pest control, training infrastructure management, the maintenance of green areas and winter services to the management of buildings and technical facilities, vehicle roadworthiness checks, energy and service station management and the installation of a hydrogen power plant. Serco Belgium has sub-contracted catering services to ISS and the management of technical facilities and energy to TPF.

According to Miguel Delacroix, Managing Director at Serco Belgium, ‘This contract is extremely important for the Ministry of Defence as it has been concluded for a school. By increasing the quality of daily services by focusing more closely on student care, we are increasing the Ministry of Defence’s added value, thereby making a military career more attractive to young recruits. Considering that the Ministry of Defence’s major problem continues to be its shortage of soldiers, we feel even more honoured by the confidence that the Ministry of Defence is placing in us.’