Local authorities ‘confident over skills’

Local government staff are more confident than other parts of the public sector that they have the skills required to deliver their objectives, including ICT reform, according to new research.

The survey, by Dods Research on behalf of recruitment website Totaljobs.com, was carried out among 1,619 public sector staff from central government, local government and the health sector.

More than half of respondents (54%) did not think that their organisation currently has enough of the skills required to deliver their set objectives. However, 42 per cent of local government responses stated that there were enough skills required to deliver objectives, compared to 33 per cent across the whole public sector.

The report said: “As local government has been going through this process for some time, it may now have settled into a place where it has staff with the right skill sets.

“Central government, however, has not been shedding staff in the same numbers from the start, and is now potentially making the same types of mistakes that local government made several years ago.”

Local government was also deemed more successful than other sectors  in distributing job losses across the organisation’s functions and achieving a balance between staff of different levels of seniority.

More shared learning and better training could benefit the entire public sector, it concluded.

In addition, the report found that although a third of respondents thought that that external recruitment  should play a bigger role, almost half (49%)  had gained their role through an internal move.

Public sector staff with private sector experience gave extra emphasis to the importance of bringing in specialist and vocational skills to the public sector.

Mike Fetters, director of public sector at Totaljobs.com said: “Despite cuts incurred in recent years, the public sector still offers  job opportunities and progression.

“We believe it remains a growing  sector; our recent research outlines that 1.5 million public sector  vacancies will need to be filled by 2016/17.”

Dods Research is owned by Dods Parliamentary Publications, publisher of PublicTechnology.net.

Colin Marrs

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