Serco and Orchard & Shipman have agreed to enter into discussions for the possible transfer of Orchard & Shipman’s wholly-owned subsidiary, ‘Orchard & Shipman (Glasgow) Ltd.’, to Serco. The subsidiary is currently Serco’s sub-contractor on the COMPASS contract, providing accommodation for asylum seekers in Scotland and Northern Ireland on behalf of the Home Office.
The two organisations agree that the transfer would be the best way to continue to deliver housing services for asylum seekers in Scotland and Northern Ireland in the future.
Under the proposed transfer, Serco would take operational control of the provision of housing for approximately 4,700 asylum seekers in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is not anticipated that any such transfer would result in any moves or changes to the accommodation arrangements for the asylum seekers. 60 Orchard & Shipman employees would transfer to Serco under their existing terms and conditions and no job losses are envisaged. The two organisations will now enter a period of due diligence prior to any transfer.
Julia Rogers, Serco’s Managing Director, Immigration, said: “We are entering into initial discussions and due diligence with a view to transferring these operations to Serco. We are committed to providing decent and safe accommodation for the 4,700 asylum seekers in our care in Scotland and Northern Ireland and to ensuring that we will meet our obligations under the COMPASS contract.”
Chris Shipman, Chairman of Orchard & Shipman, said: “Orchard & Shipman has worked increasingly closely with Serco as the service for asylum seekers has developed over the past four years on what has been a challenging contract. It is now clear that it would make sense for the service to be directly delivered by the same provider in Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as North West England. I am confident that this move would be to the benefit of the people in our care and to our employees in Glasgow and Northern Ireland, who do a tremendous job.”