07 July 2005 | Anusha Bradley
Transport for London (TfL) is to increase its purchasing team by up to 10 per cent, as it changes its focus from cash savings to managing strategic relationships.
The department is made up of 160 purchasing professionals, but hopes to attract six more staff, ranging from account managers to buyers.
But Dave Williams, TfL director of group commercial services, said the number could go up to 15 depending on the quality of applicants.
Williams said TfL, which is responsible for the capital's transport system, has been looking for extra staff since March to cope with its increasingly busy workload and a £1 billion budget.
However, he said it had been difficult to recruit people with the right skills.
"There is a shortage of talent out there. We are always looking for staff, but we need leaders, not managers," he said.
Williams is looking for commercially aware purchasers who can manage long-term relationships with a small number of powerful suppliers.
TfL said it approached a number of agencies representing former MG Rover buyers, but public-sector procurement required a different set of skills.