More councils than ever have people strategies in place and have been awarded Investors in People (IIP) status, the findings of a major survey of local government employers published this week have revealed.
The Local Government Pay and Workforce Survey 2006, commissioned by the Improvement and Development Agency (IdeA), received responses from 222 authorities, covering more than one million employees.
The main findings were:
- 82% of authorities have people/workforce strategies in place, with 14% of the remainder developing them
- 85% of the workforce is covered by the IIP award
- 57% of authorities have developed workforce development plans (an increase from 13% in 2004)
- 28% of authorities carry out succession planning, a rise from 6% in 2004.
Joan Munro, national adviser on workforce strategy at the IdeA, called the IiP coverage a “huge achievement”.
She said: “Ensuring local government has a workforce with the right skills and motivation is vital to achieving future success.”
But the report did identify some areas of concern. There are skills gaps in key areas, with many authorities reporting problems in change management and organisational development (72%) business process redesign and analysis (61%) performance management (60%) and people management (59%).
Off-the-job training days remained low at an average of 1.6 days per employee per year, despite training expenditure per employee growing from £233 in 2005 to £249 in 2006.
The report found this “surprising”, given the challenges facing authorities and the need to develop skills to reflect new ways of working.
With many authorities still struggling with equal pay claims, only 30% reported having pay and reward strategies in place. The report found most are still using annual incremental pay progression systems.