On 30 November, UKVI’s existing premium service centres will close to undergo refurbishment and conversion to service and support centres. Home Office staff will be given tailored training sessions, enabling them to best serve customers’ needs when the centres reopen in January 2019.
Delays in Home Office decision making have been a feature of just about every surgery that I have ever held. Given the recent announcement that some services will be outsourced to Sopra Steria—the same company that managed to lose half a million NHS documents—and the experience that we have had with Serco in Glasgow, will the Minister tell me how on earth this privatisation agenda will help my constituents?
It will help the hon. Lady’s constituents by providing a transformed experience for those who may need more face-to-face interaction or help with their applications. At the free appointments, customers will meet experienced frontline staff to help UKVI better to understand their circumstances, take appropriate safeguarding action and validate their documents.