Government office staff to be 'sourced locally', says minister

The majority of staff at a new government office in the Black Country will be sourced locally with the assistance of a city university, a minister has said.

The new Housing Ministry office at the i9 building in Wolverhampton
The new Housing Ministry office at the i9 building in Wolverhampton

Eddie Hughes MP said the University of Wolverhampton was being used as "the basis for much of our recruitment" at the newly opened Housing Ministry headquarters at Wolverhampton's i9 building.

Up to 250 civil servants are set to be based at the offices by next April, and Housing Minister Mr Hughes said the aim was to ensure that as many of them as possible were from the West Midlands.

Walsall North MP Mr Hughes was asked for assurances that staff would use public transport when travelling between departmental sites in London and Wolverhampton.

He said: "In an ideal world they will not be travelling very far at all. Just to make this point – this is not a net zero point – the point of that office is to have people from the West Midlands and preferably from Wolverhampton working for the 'Department for local government' rather than employing people down south.

"So the intention has been to use Wolverhampton University as the basis for much of our recruitment so that we can identify and source quality staff very locally."

It is understood that up to 100 staff have already been taken on at the Wolverhampton site, which has been touted as the first outside London that will have a regular ministerial presence.

Some civil servants are temporarily based at the Civic Centre while the the finishing touches are being out to offices inside i9.

The new offices were opened earlier this month by Wolverhampton-born MP Robert Jenrick, who was sacked as Housing Secretary by Boris Johnson a few days later.

Asset management firm LGPS Central Limited has been named as a second tenant for the building and will employ 70 staff at the site.

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