Headlines: April 29th, 2002

The staff retention problem for councils is more widespread than the traditional areas of high employment in London and the South East. A UK wide survey by Publicnet found that councils from the South West of England through to Scotland had difficulty in retaining staff, but other councils in the same areas reported no problems. All councils with problems had career development programmes in place, while those reporting no problems did not. A conclusion that can be drawn from this evidence is that there is a link between concern for career development and being aware of the impact of high staff turnover.The survey showed that 18% of councils are experiencing staff retention difficulties. The situation is most acute in the London boroughs, less severe in councils within a 40 mile radius of London, but with pockets of difficulty in areas with fast rail links into London.

Difficulty in retaining staff was found to be the driver for career development programmes. All councils planning to introduce programmes are experiencing retention problems. The survey showed that 28% of councils currently have career development programmes in place, but that one third of councils with retention problems had no such arrangements or plans.

Elected members appear to take little interest in human resource issues with only 18% of councils reporting some kind of councilor involvement.

The survey marks that start of increased coverage of human resource issues by Publicnet. The modernization programme across the public sector depends crucially on people to deliver change and improved services. Sharing thinking and best practice is an important part of this process. Publicnet has teamed up with jobsgopublic to bring a daily update of public sector jobs. Click on the link below to see jobs available today.