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Agenda item

Annual Workforce Development Strategy Review

To consider progress made against delivery of the Workforce Development Strategy. 


28.1          The report of the Head of Corporate Services, circulated at Pages No. 104-127, set out the progress made against delivery of the Workforce Development Strategy.  Members were asked to consider the report.

28.2          The HR and OD Manager advised that an update on the progress made against the 2021/22 actions and the proposed actions for 2022/23 were attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  The main points to note were set out at Page No. 105, Paragraph 3.1 of the report, and particular reference was made to the introduction of the new Eploy system; development of systems to allow reporting on equalities data; and the COVID-19 response in terms of development and adjustment of policies, provision of new training and welfare support for staff.   Appendix 2 to the report set out the key performance measures outturn and attention was drawn to Page No. 116 which showed voluntary staff turnover was up to 14.5% from 6%; whilst a third of this was attributed to retirement, which was in line with other organisations, there was still a considerable amount which was unrelated to that.  Alongside this, the Council continued to struggle to recruit to senior management roles.  The HR and OD Manager advised there was a plan to address this - pay was one of the most frequently cited reasons for leaving during exit interviews and review of job evaluation processes and pay structures was planned during 2022/23 along with a further action around developing a strategy for recruitment management and retention.

28.3          A Member expressed the view that any changes to the pay structure needed to be carefully considered and suggested that other incentives should be explored.  He pointed out that the local government pension scheme used to be a significant draw but that was no longer as enticing as it had once been.  He asked whether staff who undertook training as part of their employment with the authority were required to stay for a period of time following completion – the Council was often used as a training ground to gain experience and qualifications before progressing to more senior roles in the private sector.  In response, the HR and OD Manager confirmed there was a training agreement in place for that reason.  Whilst she agreed it was necessary to look at the whole picture, with turnover as high as it was currently and with pay being cited so frequently as a reason for leaving, that was something which needed to be addressed and there was a balance to be struck with development opportunities and career pathways.  A Member welcomed the Council’s commitment to apprenticeships and indicated that he was aware of apprentices within the IT department but asked if there were opportunities in planning.  In response, the HR and OD Manager advised there were now professional planning apprenticeships up to level four and level six/seven; however, there were not a lot of universities offering those currently and conversations were taking place with universities to identify what would best suit the Council’s needs.  The Member recognised there was a national issue with planning recruitment and he asked whether there were any national schemes which would assist with bringing people into local government, for instance, where they were placed with different authorities at different times.  Members were informed there were schemes supported by the Local Government Association more broadly and that would be considered when looking at the wider strategic approach.  A Member asked whether contractors and sub-contractors were being considered and the HR and OD Manager confirmed that everything was in scope and all options were on the table.

28.4          It was

RESOLVED           That the annual Workforce Development Strategy review be NOTED.

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