The Employers' Organisation for local government (EO) is to run a recruitment and awareness campaign to tackle the shortage of trading standards officers and environmental health staff.
The ‘Raising the Profile’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the important role that local authority public protection regulatory services play in contributing to the social, economic and environmental well-being of local communities.
Less than half the number of trading standards officers needed to replace those lost through natural turnover started degrees in 2002-2003. A recent EO survey also finds that 43 per cent of authorities are experiencing difficulties in recruiting environmental health officers.
As part of the campaign, local authorities in England and Wales will be asked to make a public commitment to developing a recruitment and retention strategy to address vacancies and turnover in regulatory services.
The EO will also lobby for additional external funds to boost bursaries for environmental health graduates, and for the introduction of new national initiatives to help local authorities recruit and retain staff.
Mick James, the EO's assistant director of recruitment and careers, said: “This is a much needed development, and one that will have a significant impact on recruitment and retention of staff in local government in both the short and medium-term.
“To be successful, it is important that local authorities develop robust recruitment and retention strategies, and invest in their staff’s development and training.”
The Raising the Profile partnership consists of the Local Government Association (LGA), the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA), the Employers' Organisation (EO), the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).