Private sector HR chiefs to mentor public sector counterparts

Private sector HR chiefs will mentor their local government counterparts under a scheme launched today.

The Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) claims its system is the first to pair private sector mentors with local authority HR directors.

HR leaders from companies including Microsoft, Network Rail and Royal Mail will provide help and advice for the ‘Raising the Standard’ project.

IDeA has invited applications from local government HR directors interested in taking part in the scheme, and will launch pilots next year.

Kelly Sandiford, IDeA’s programme manager for organisational development and people management, said: “HR professionals have been criticised in the past for failing to deliver a strategic focus in their services.

“The success of organisations in both the public and private sector is dependent on the effective management of people. So it’s vital, especially in the current economic climate, that HR issues are taken seriously.”

Think-tank the Institute for Employment Studies, and membership body the Public Sector People Managers’ Association, have worked with IDeA to develop a list of skills, experiences and qualities needed to provide strategic HR in local authorities.

Local government HR professionals will be able to access an online self-assessment tool to assess their ability to perform against customer and industry expectations and local government targets.

It emerged last month that thousands of public sector HR professionals could pay for chancellor Alistair Darling’s Pre-Budget Report spending splurge with their jobs.

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