Leeds-based thebigword, the global language services company, has won both the biggest interpreting contract in the UK – a £120m, four-year contract to provide face-to-face and telephone interpreting to the Ministry of Justice – and the contract to provide translation and transcription services. The contracts can be extended for a further three one-year periods.
Under the deal, the firm will provide expert linguists to courts, tribunals, prisons, the probation service and other organisations in the justice sector, such as CPS and Police forces.
The deal follows another £60m, four-year contract win earlier this month to provide similar services to central Government organisations including the DWP, Home Office, MoD, UK Border Force, NHS and HMRC.
The linguists who currently work to support the justice system will see improved working conditions, access to thebigword’s acclaimed training programmes and opportunities to work with the company’s 7,500 other public and private sector clients.
Additionally, the MoJ contract requires the development of a trainee scheme, in conjunction with the Independent Quality Assurance supplier, which will provide career opportunities for new and existing linguists.
The contract was previously held by Capita TI and a number of their staff will also be transferred to thebigword as part of the deal.
The new services commence from October 31 this year and all linguists and staff will be contacted in the coming weeks to be welcomed to thebigword.
Chief executive Larry Gould says: “thebigword is the largest interpreting services provider in Europe. We have the infrastructure and we have the experience. We have been delivering large-scale public sector contracts for more than two decades.
“The Ministry of Justice have recognised this and are confident our technology and proven systems will deliver an exceptional service and genuine value for money.
“We are extremely proud of our global family of 8,000 language experts and are looking forward to welcoming these new linguists to thebigword.
“We have worked with focus groups to develop a package of benefits and have comprehensive training programmes to ensure our linguists can cope with difficult conversations – such as interpreting rape, torture and other distressing crimes – and deliver the highest possible standards.”
thebigword has 11 offices around the world, employs 500 staff and has more than 8,000 linguists. Its innovative technology can identify and connect people to the appropriate interpreter in more than 250 languages in under 30 seconds. thebigword handles 1,000,000 minutes of telephone interpreting a month and 17,000 face to face meetings, as well as half a billion words of translation.
Feedback from the Ministry of Justice on the contract said: “thebigword’s response is providing significant added value. Their bid provides a strategic, effective and credible approach to the use of appropriately qualified professionals who meet the qualifications and quality standards.
“Their technology, IMS Direct, matches up the best possible professional in a timely manner for the task. The system is already being used on other contracts and ensures that those with the correct security level and language complexity level are available within the geographical locality.”
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