Hello PPMA Members and Friends.
This week our post comes from two members of the West Midlands PPMA branch – Hazel Day who works for Birmingham City Council in Workforce Intelligence Planning and Anne Dokov who is the PPMA Policy Lead Officer for Diversity. They have both been involved in the development of a new PPMA secondment scheme that’s being piloted in the West Midlands and they explain more about the pilot:
‘The idea began when colleagues in the West Midlands PPMA branch told us about the difficulties they face in enhancing their skills and experience now that fewer jobs are advertised and many councils and other public service organisations are downsizing their HR functions and training budgets.
So four colleagues from three different West Midlands LA’s (Hazel and Anne together with Zoe Bignell and Jo Evans) teamed up to develop a pilot that included job shadowing, job swap and a simplified secondment scheme we called ‘Talent Exchange’. Initially designed for PPMA members in the West Midlands, we hope to encourage free movement of people between public sector bodies. To make the pilot a success, we are liasing with the Heads of HR in the West Midlands region, whose support will be vital to endorse the movement of employees between councils and to offer up development opportunities.
The purpose of the Talent Exchange, is to provide PPMA members with a simple way to bring people and opportunities together for mutual benefit and to help facilitate those moves. The scheme will be aimed at PPMA members and the employees of PPMA member organisations and here’s how it works:
- Job shadowing – very short term arrangement, generally sought by the employee driven by person’s appraisal process and need for development.
- Job swap – could be short, medium or longer term, generally employee driven but must be agreed and signed off by employing organisation prior to expression of interest being placed. Employee would look for a job swap partner for a limited term.
- Secondment – longer term arrangement, organisation driven, temporary opportunities, agreement from employing organisation must be in place, organisations will be responsible for arranging salary reimbursement.
Shadowing, a swap or a secondment, could arise from either an employee requesting a position or an organisation looking to fill a short-term specialist skills gap. We believe both employee and employer will gain a great deal from this simple yet effective arrangement.
Both job opportunities and individuals looking to find openings would be able to post an advert in a specific area of the PPMA website. The selection processes and contractual arrangements will be handled by the employing organisations. Our intention has been to keep the scheme deliberately simple to operate and we’re aiming to run the Exchange as a one-year pilot and review it after that time. We see many benefits benefits coming from the scheme including:
- Offers a way for councils and other public services organisations to support the development of new skills and experience in their employees
- Enhances the skilled HR resource base available in the region
- Improves networking and opportunities to exchange ideas between authorities who participate
- Enables individuals to gain experience in new areas and aid their career development. It will enable employees to return better connected, with a broader understanding of regional issues and a perspective into another organisation – may mean they are also even more ready for progression, so succession planning and talent management will be important considerations for on-going retention and motivation
- Enables the wider deployment of specialist skills to meet particular needs around the region as and when required
- Reduces ‘flight risk’ of most talented Public Sector HR professionals by developing them and challenging them if they are ready for a move which cannot be facilitated in-house
- Increases level of employee engagement
Our aim is to get the ‘Exchange’ up and running in the New Year and although this pilot will be managed by the West Midlands Branch of the PPMA, if the scheme is a success the PPMA Board are looking at rolling the scheme out to branches across the country.
We are interested to hear your thoughts and ideas for developing this initiative, either as a candidate for the Exchange or as an employer, so do post a comment below.’