Regional publisher Johnston Press has announced plans to outsource half of its advertising creation work to India with the loss of around 60-70 UK jobs.
The regional publisher told staff on Friday the work would be transferred away from JP centres in Leeds, Sheffield, Peterborough and Edinburgh to a partnership including the Press Association and Express KCS Ltd.
According to one of the affected staff members, people affected by the announcement have been told by the company they can choose to move to work in India – but have just a week to decide if they wish to do so.
The company says it plans to expand its service desk in Sheffield with seven new roles in traffic and workflow management and affected staff can apply for these vacancies.
The announcement was made on Friday by Paul Wealleans, director of group pre-press services.
He said: “Following a detailed review of the Advertising Creation function, the Group proposes to transfer this activity from Leeds, Peterborough, Edinburgh, and Sheffield, to Express KCS Ltd partnering with the Press Association.
“The company will retain the creative services teams at Carn, Sunderland, Portsmouth and Preston.
“Additionally it is proposed that the Service desk in Sheffield will be expanded by seven new roles in Traffic and Workflow Management. Staff from within the affected Ad Creation and Creative teams will have the opportunity to apply for these vacancies.
“We have commenced consultation today with the individuals affected and anticipate that this process will be complete by the end of July.”
One of the affected staff members told HTFP: “It will just mean all the advertising is going to be designed by people in India who don’t know anything about the local market. I think it is about 60 or 70 people who are affected.
“There are people there who have been doing it for 25 or 30 years and they are obviously completely destroyed by it.”
The teams design adverts, create websites and design artwork for editorial.
Express KCS and PA signed a partnership deal last November to offer creative production services to newspaper publishers in the UK from production centres in India.