Recruitment and Retention of Young Workers in Local Government

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2003 Local Government Service Group Conference
21 February 2003

Conference notes:

1)That the crisis in recruitment and retention of staff in the public sector has recently been identified by the Audit Commission report “Recruitment and Retention: A public services workforce for the 21st Century”.

2)That this crisis is particularly acute in local government where 75% of councils surveyed nationally by UNISON report difficulties in recruitment and retention of some key staff and also a high level of employees wishing to leave their jobs.

3)That this recruitment and retention crisis is particularly acute amongst younger workers.

4)That it is the interest of both UNISON and the Employers Organisation to work together to promote local government as a career option for young people.

5)The key to attracting and retaining young workers in local government is workforce development and training. At present Councils provide an average of only 1.6 days training annually for each employee.

Conference calls on the Local Government Executive:

a)To monitor the age profile of recruitment trends in local government and to make this information available to all branches and regions to help identify areas of recruitment potential.

b)To approach the Employers Organisation about running a joint campaign to promote local government as a career path for young workers.

c)To lobby the Government to increase funding levels to ensure local councils can properly develop and train staff. That this funding should be at least equivalent to that invested in the development of the NHS workforce.