Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Human Resources Sub Group - Thursday, 22nd November, 2018 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Ante Chamber, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Contact: Mike Williamson 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To receive the minutes of the HR Subgroup on 4 October 2018.




To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 4 October 2018 as a correct record.


Apprenticeships pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Report of the Director of HROD


This report provides an update on the Council’s apprenticeship strategy and activity since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.


 The Sub Group considered the report of the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development that provided an update on the Council’s apprenticeship strategy and activity since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.


Officers referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -


·                A background to the levy, introduced on all employers with employee pay bills in excess of 3 million pounds, equivalent to 0.5% of their payroll spend;

·                A description of the five principles that had been agreed to guide the Council’s apprenticeship strategy;

·                Noting that over the past 19 months the Council had seen a total of 254 employees accessing apprenticeship opportunities, committing circa. £1.6M of our Levy pot to the development of new and existing staff;

·                The promotion of apprenticeships as an option for all, and not simply a route for ‘young people’;

·                The development of peer support that was available to apprentices and their managers to ensure that individuals successfully complete their training and maximise the broader opportunities this brought;

·                An overview of activities in relation to recruiting apprentices to vacant posts, apprenticeships as main source of accredited training, releasing employees for training and promoting apprentice opportunities as widely as possible;

·                The work undertaken at a Greater Manchester level to support the development of new and emerging standards linked to organisational workforce development priorities and promoting the apprenticeship agenda across Greater Manchester; 

·                An update on the uptake of apprenticeships from Community Schools; and

·                An update on the transfer of apprenticeship funds.


Some of the key points that arose from the Members’ discussions were:-


·                Clarification was sought regarding the number of Manchester residents employed as an apprentice;

·                Was it practical to release staff to undertake ‘block’ training to fulfil the 20% protected learning requirement;

·                How did our apprenticeship scheme compare to other schemes;

·                Noting that the preferred term was ‘Our Children’ and what alternatives to formal interviews were considered for people with support needs; and

·                An assurance was sought regarding the completion of the electronic form that was completed by managers and submitted to the Resourcing Team to request a vacancy to be filled were reviewed.


The Head of Workforce Strategy responded by informing the Group that the information of the number of apprentices that were Manchester residents within the report related to new recruits only and that a full overview of all apprentices would be circulated to the Group.


In response to the question regarding teaching qualifications the Head of Workforce Strategy stated that currently a teaching qualification was not available and the apprenticeships related to support roles, such as teaching assistants.


In regard to the 20% training requirement, the Head of Workforce Strategy commented that a flexible approach would always be taken to fulfil this commitment, noting that it may not always require a formal academic setting, for example if time was required to complete a project. He said this provision was monitored to ensure it was appropriate. He commented that apprenticeship providers across the city had been very flexible and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Our Ways of Working pdf icon PDF 431 KB

Report of the Director of HROD


This report provides an update and overview of the Our Ways of Working (OWOW) programme.


The Sub Group considered the report of the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development that provided an update on the Our Ways of Working (OWOW) programme.


Officers referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -


·                Providing a description of the OWOW and the rationale for this approach;

·                The activities delivered to date with the leadership team to support this way of working through their words and also demonstrating their practical support through their actions;

·                Information on service and manager engagement;

·                Examples of what had been achieved to date;

·                An update on the estates rationalisation and improvement strategy;

·                An update on ICT developments to help staff become more mobile, agile and connected through the deployment of secure, fit for purpose technology;

·                The work to strengthen and clarify policy guidance and present the full range of associated policies together clearly and concisely; and

·                Describing the workstreams which would ultimately contribute to the success of OWOW.


Some of the key points that arose from the Members’ discussions were: -


·                The retention of senior management team (SMT);

·                What more could be done to improve the culture of the organisation;

·                The need to manage change sensitively, recognising the impact this could have on individuals and was there specific training for managers to facilitate this;

·                Had Trade Unions been consulted with regarding the OWOW;

·                How did OWOW apply to part time workers;

·                What was being done to ensure the wellbeing of staff who worked from home, noting that those staff could often feel isolated; and

·                Home working incurred additional costs and would staff be compensated.


The Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development acknowledged the comments regarding SMT and commented that the reasons could be complex and was not uncommon in organisations following a change in Chief Executive. She said that the results of the bHeard survey would be available soon and an analysis on these returns would help in this understanding. She said that the OWOW was a response to previous survey findings in relation to staff wellbeing and demonstrated how the organisation was committed to listening and responding to staff and their concerns and demonstrated an attempt to change the culture of the organisation.


She commented that work was ongoing with the Senior Leadership Group across the organisation to challenge the culture of the organisation, promote OWOW and influence change. She said that a number of working groups had been established to look at specific areas of work and activity. She said staff at all grades would be engaged with to embrace the OWOW and drive this agenda.


The Head of HR Operations said that it was recognised that the involvement and support of staff at all levels was crucial to the successful delivery of OWOW. She said that it was recognised that the organisation was complex and OWOW would look different in different directorates. She said OWOW would be rolled out in a managed way, understanding what worked for different functions and co-designed with staff involvement. She  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Review of Workforce Practices - Education Services pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Presentation by the Director of Education


This presentation provides information on workforce practices within the Education Services division of the Children’s Directorate.


The Sub Group considered the presentation delivered by the Director of Education that provided: -


·                A description of the team structure and workforce profile;

·                A description of the various team functions and responsibilities;

·                The results of the b-Heard survey and the response to the findings;

·                Data on the absentee rates across the education work force for the period October 17 to September 18;

·                Information on the support offered to staff to maintain attendance; and

·                Highlighting good news and describing the current challenges.


Some of the key points that arose from the Members’ discussions were: -


·                Noting the number of Ofsted inspections in previous years, and the pressure this placed on resources what could be done to ensure inspections are undertaken in a more planned manner;

·                Further information was sought on the work of the Schools Admissions Team when allocating a school place for a child;

·                How many apprenticeship places were offered in Education Services; and

·                What data was available in regard to gender, ethnicity and sexuality for staff working in Education Services. 


The Director of Education stated that whilst meetings did take place with the Regional Director for Ofsted and the issue of inspection timing was raised, ultimately the decision to inspect rested with Ofsted.


In response to the questions regarding the Admissions Service the Director of Education commented that whilst there were specific peak times in the academic year, for example when school place offers were made, the service remained busy throughout the year. She explained that Manchester experienced a large number of children entering the city at all times of the year that had placed pressure on schools. She described that Manchester had adopted a coordinated admissions policy and every effort was taken to offer a school place within four weeks. However, if a place could not be offered within four weeks the case would be reviewed and a decision would be taken to offering a place that may not be the parents’ preferred choice. A Member noted that a significant number of parents exercise their right to appeal for a school place, commenting that Admissions Staff were required to attend the appeal hearing, placing an additional pressure on staff resources. 


The Director of Education continued by explaining that for complex admissions, for SEND children or excluded children for example the In Year Fair Access Protocol is enacted. This protocol was designed to place these children in a school and schools met monthly to agree the allocation to ensure there was a fair distribution of resources across all schools. She said these allocations took longer to secure due to the often complex nature of each individual case and the capacity of schools.


The Director of Education informed the Group that there were a number of apprentices in the service who were currently supported to work towards management degrees. She said the service would always consider apprenticeship roles and was keen to develop these further, in particular in regard to Youth Services.


In response to a question from the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Report of the Governance and Scrutiny Support Unit


To review and approve the Subgroups work programme.


The Subgroup were invited to consider and agree the work programme. The Chair recommended that she would review the Work Programme following discussions with officers. The Members agreed this recommendation. 




The Subgroup agree the Work Programme, subject to any amendments agreed by the Chair following discussions with officers.