Agenda item

HR Verbal Update


A Stunell updated the group on the apprenticeship levy. A report is due to go to CMT on the 20th of December. The levy due is £80k which was to be used for training only and not for salaries. The options available were to either recruit 16 new apprentices or offer it to existing employees. The council were working closely with Herts County Council to ensure they make the most of the funds available.

The aim was to have some of the apprentices in place by May 2017, therefore there was a lot of work to be completed by then and discussions to take place with Group Managers.


Councillor Whitman asked what types of apprenticeships were being offered.

A Stunell said they were available across the council in areas where there are skills gaps. Apprenticeships can be at all different levels from NVQ to degree.

Apprenticeships have worked well at the council over the years.


Councillor Chapman asked if the council could hold on to apprenticeships once they had completed their training.

A Stunell explained that there wasn’t always a vacancy at the end of the training but all options were explored when the time arose.


Councillor Taylor asked if the skills gaps were matched to the apprentice to ensure the right person is recruited.

A Stunell agreed that the apprenticeship scheme needed to benefit the community as well as the individual.


Councillor Chapman hoped that by recruiting 16 apprenticeships it would ease the pressure on existing staff.

A Stunell said the council needed to ensure all support mechanisms were in place before the process begun. In addition they needed to ensure that the levy was spent accordingly.


T Boggins had previously raised concerns over apprenticeships which had not progressed as they should have done.

A Stunell explained that apprenticeships needed to complete a structured programme which will be closely monitored. The council needed to ensure that the scheme is of value to the individual as well as the authority.


C Plested asked if employees taking up the opportunity would see an affect on their salary.

A Stunell said it should not affect their salary as there wouldn’t be any incentive to do it. Tailored person specifications and job descriptions for all different levels would be produced.


Councillor Taylor reiterated that the £80k levy was to support training only and not for salaries. He asked that Audit committee be updated on a yearly basis about how many apprenticeships had taken place and whether roles were found after the apprenticeship had finished


A Stunell continued with her update and noted that the HR and Organisational Development structure was finalised in June and there was now a full team in place.


She explained that they were working with Matt Rawdon, Group Manager to develop the People strategy which looked at recruitment, training and support for all staff. She noted that the Union had been consulted and this would be going to CMT on the 20th of January.

Other projects being worked on included developing a well being strategy, the TUPE of Facilities Management staff and the transfer of the agency staff contract from Comensura to Pertemps.


Councillor Chapman thanked A Stunell for the update and noted that everything was working well.