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Sheffield from the air, credit: Footprint Photography
Sheffield from the air, credit: Footprint Photography

New approach to boost employment opportunities for agency staff

16 June 2016

Sheffield City Council is set to boost the fortunes of agency workers with an innovative, new approach to agency provision.

The council will require a future agency partner to provide people with better access to training, career planning and development, as well as forging better links with deprived communities to help them into employment and develop career pathways.

Councillor Ben Curran, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources at Sheffield City Council, said:
“Our ambition is for Sheffield to be the fairest city in the UK. This new approach is one of many approaches that will help us to achieve it.

“Our aim is to help workers develop their skills and employability, to boost their chances of permanent employment. This will benefit people throughout the city region and support economic development.

”We’re the first council to do this. We’re not afraid of innovation and we’ll keep developing new ways to boost people’s prospects.”

The authority employs approximately 7,500 people and uses around 250 agency staff at any one time. It recruits them when specialist skills are needed, short term contracts are let and for shift work.

People working for the council through its current supplier – Reed – are already paid the Living Wage Foundation rate which currently stands at £8.25 per hour, £1.05 per hour more than the current £7.20 minimum wage.

The plans will be discussed by the council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 22 June. If approved the council will go out to tender with potential suppliers to identify how they would provide ‘social value’ through the new contract and improve people’s employment prospects.