Letters: local government faces staff crisis

first_img Previous Article Next Article Letters: local government faces staff crisisOn 5 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Our front page exclusive on councils’ recruitment and retention crisis hasstruck a chord with HR professionals in that sector. Tellingly, manyrespondents wished to remain anonymous so they could fully vent theirfrustrations surrounding the issueWhat a cavalier attitude to staff A starting point for councils tackling their skills crisis (News, 15January) would be to learn how to treat people who apply for jobs. I applied for a relatively senior HR role within Education Leeds beforeChristmas and have yet to receive acknowledgement of progress. Staff there didnot even think to let applicants know when interviews were being held, so wecould at least guess if we had been selected or not. It is a shame a large employer like Leeds City Council doesn’t seem able toget the basics of good employment practice right. Maybe this is another reasonwhy local government employees are leaving and moving to employers in other sectors.David Albone Corporate services manager, The Ridings Housing Association Adapt or lose the skilled workers Although local authorities occupy a central role in the local community,little is done to market employment opportunities in the sector beyondadvertising in the local press and providing a job counter in reception. Local authorities need to be more imaginative, commercial and sell theirbrand in the same way as other big businesses they are in competition with fora skilled and committed workforce. Historically, local government has had ‘a job for life’ image, but youngerworkers’ expectations are changing. More needs to be done to look at the wayswork can be tailored to fit around people’s choice of lifestyle. If there is to be a vibrant workforce major reinvestment is needed now toenable local authorities to reintroduce qualification-based trainingprogrammes. It will be the best way to ensure a future supply of skilled andexpert workers in hard-to-fill specialist areas. Pauline Maynard Human resource manager, Croydon Council Pay and benefits do not compare Local government cannot attract staff as it is not paying the going rate,particularly for professionals. While a new job evaluation scheme is being introduced in April which aims toharmonise pay and conditions, feedback during consultation has been poor.Fifteen per cent of staff are set to lose out in terms of salary. I fear peoplewill vote with their feet. We need to look outside local authorities for an example of what benefitpackages are available in the private sector. If local government is going to meet its commitments to customers, it needsto bring itself up to speed with how to motivate modern workforces. Name and organisation withheld Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more