PF careers spotlight: Retention, diversity and working in partnership

6 Mar 23

The sector is always looking to recruit great people to help deliver vital public services. Here are some issues being considered by jobseekers and recruiters alike.

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​​Over 50s vital for workplace retention, say experts

Government plans for health checks to keep people aged over 50 in the workplace should be just the start, according to experts.

Ahead of the Budget, prime minister Rishi Sunak is set to announce plans to start annual health checks for employees over 50 as part of work to reduce the number of older people leaving the workforce.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, 630,000 of working age people have become ‘economically inactive’.

An NHS pilot scheme is currently running in Cornwall in a bid to boost preventative healthcare.

Neil O’Brien, the minister for public health, said the health check would help by preventing potentially life-threatening conditions, “while making patients’ lives easier and reducing pressure on frontline services”.

Former pensions minister Steve Webb said: “Policy effort needs to be focused around understanding why flows into long-term sickness have grown and on early intervention to prevent people’s health from deteriorating.”

Retaining those people in companies has major advantages; not least better performance.

Recent analysis by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development concluded that a company with a 10% higher share of workers aged 50 and over is 1.1% more productive.

The Centre for Better Aging said: “These productivity gains come from lower job turnover and the greater management and general work experience of older workers.”

The group also highlighted a study by YouGov in which eight out of 10 employers (79%) in England state that older workers could help in knowledge and skill sharing.

The CBA said: “Far from being in competition with each other, different age groups working

together can help businesses thrive and individuals learn.”

Fostering diversity takes real, hard work

Achieving diversity comes through action – and there is plenty we can do. Felicia Odamtten, director and founder of the Black Economists Network, explains in this op-ed for Public Finance.

“The most important step is to take action. This includes setting clear, specific, tangible and measurable targets, to which leaders at every level can be held accountable,” she writes.

Pride of place

Working in partnership is seen by many as the future of the public sector, with huge strides being made across the country in doing so.

There is a growing acknowledgement that a ‘place-based approach’ allows the people who know the area best – the ones working hard to provide services – to make tailored decisions to the needs of the community.

Health and social care are at the forefront of this move towards place-based services, with integrated care systems having been made statutory in July last year.

CIPFA is running a free virtual event – Integrating Care: Making it Count – for all those interested in making this integration a success.

The event will involve speakers from across the sector to consider the challenges, as well as take part in a Q&A.

In the institute’s words, attendees will explore:

  • How taking a place-based approach can focus on the wider determinants of health and wellbeing with an emphasis on prevention,
  • The vital role of all levels of local government in integrating care,
  • How a focus on outcomes can highlight interdependencies between services and foster a shared vision, and
  • The challenges of governance, accountability and finance at the level of place and potential solutions.


The event is on 20 March. For more information see the CIPFA website.

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