Headlines: November 27th, 2007

Five priorities have been set out for local authorities to deal with workforce challenges. The 2007 Local Government Workforce Strategy has been launched by the Local Government Association, the Improvement and Development Agency and the Local Government Employers and sets out action needed locally, regionally and nationally.

This is the fourth version of the strategy, examining the challenges facing council leaders and chief executives as well as human resources specialists over the next five years.

The priority areas are organisational development to build workforce support for new ways of working; leadership and management development to develop visionary leadership making best use of the political and managerial role in a partnership context; developing skills and knowledge in an innovative, high performance, multi-agency context; working with partners to address skill shortages, promoting careers and addressing diversity issues and reviewing pay and rewards so they reflect new structures and priorities and reinforce high performance. The Strategy also encourages regions and local authorities to come up with appropriate responses to their own workforce challenges.

Simon Milton, Chairman of the LGA, said the strategy was necessary to deliver the sustained transformation needed to achieve faster, fitter, more flexible, citizen focused and personalised local public services. Meanwhile Joan Munro, the national advisor for workforce strategy at the IDeA added, “Providing the best services to residents and making local areas better places to live and work cannot be separated from effective people management. Local government faces many challenges, financially, in terms of targets, and in ways of working, and if they are to succeed there needs to be an understanding of how to achieve a high performing motivated workforce in an increasingly competitive labour market.”