The name of a pioneering joint venture company between Staffordshire County Council and Capita to provide education support services has today been announced.
‘Entrust’ will have its headquarters in the county and will provide an extensive package of services from school improvement to ICT, ground maintenance and performing arts.
The new name represents a major milestone in the creation of a new company that will support Staffordshire's young people to have the best education possible.
The county council conducted a year-long search for a company who would invest in its education support services, with the aim of safeguarding jobs and developing these services in the face of reduced funding and a more competitive market.
Entrust will see over £50 million of investment in Staffordshire leveraged by Capita, over £33 million of which will be dedicated to staff and services over the next three years. As part of the deal, the county council will receive a capital payment of nearly £32 million, which will be available to reinvest in a wide range of council projects and services including education, care for the elderly and looking after children in care.
Since the official signing of the joint venture contract in December, officers have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure Entrust is ready for its official launch on April 1.
Capita has entered this partnership with the aim of protecting jobs and a commitment to transfer all existing staff from the county council into the new joint venture company under TUPE regulations, meaning that their current pay and conditions will be protected.
County Councillor Ian Parry, Cabinet Member for Education, Finance and Transformation said: “This announcement heralds the start of a company that I am sure will be recognised as a leader in the delivery of quality school support services in Staffordshire and beyond. Entrust represents a new brand for innovative, high value services and products to support schools which will secure existing jobs and grow many more over the next few years.
“We have achieved something in Staffordshire that will become a positive force in education, taking the public sector skills and experience and injecting fresh cash, energy and commercial expertise from the private sector to turn what could have been a problem into an exciting opportunity. Our deal with Capita, and the joint venture company that has resulted from it, will not only safeguard jobs and services, but will also contribute significantly to Staffordshire’s local economy.”
Capita plc joint chief operating officer, Andy Parker, said: ”Our joint venture with Staffordshire County Council represents our largest single contract, delivering services back to the Council and, at the same time, growing the joint venture into a ground breaking commercial operation designed to benefit the region. Entrust is well positioned to meet the requirements of the rapidly changing education market in the UK and, at a time when schools are under pressure to manage budgets ever more effectively, should introduce both reduced administrative pressure and greater efficiency into the market.”