Hello PPMA member and friends

In a world where we are all battling with short-term, immediate and often urgent workforce challenges, we need to also create space to focus on the long-term. It’s hard to do, with uncertainty as to how fast moving change will shape the future, but it’s really important to do.

Investment in learning & development, in growing our own, and in the practical aspects of our medium and long-term workforce and succession plans is really important. Of course there are risks that some people will thank us for their newly gained skills and qualifications and go elsewhere, but this risk is far outweighed by the long-term benefits we get of upskilling, developing and retaining great staff.

There is renewed and increasing focus on apprenticeships, graduate programmes and other ‘grow your own’ schemes. These are long-term investments that should sit as part of a wider recruitment and retention strategy or plan. Talent programmes delivered in the right organisational context can also help with increasing buy in and commitment from participants, and if combined with development plans, they can be powerful tools.

At the PPMA we have run talent programmes for our HR community for a number of years, and we really believe in the importance of giving people opportunities together with space to grow and develop. We’re just about to run our ONE TO WATCH (targeted at those who are in the early stages of their HR careers) and HR Rising Star (for people looking to move into a more senior role) programmes for 2023, and I’ve been privileged to work with two groups last year and to see the amount of learning and personal development and growth that took place in the space of only two days together. Our apprenticeship programme draws apprentices from all parts of local government, and finally, our Peer into the Future programme is aimed at future HR Directors. Every time we run these talent programmes, it confirms to me that the future of local government and of HR is in safe hands.

The closing date for applications for ONE TO WATCH and HR Rising Star is Thursday 15th June and you can find out more on our website.

Gordon McFarlane, PPMA President