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As a result of the existing workforce challenges and the future changes in technology, legislation and financial constraints the following areas of work will be developed as key actions to deliver our Workforce Strategy.

These key actions are linked to three themes of our Strategy Plan 2022–2027:

  • building a fairer economy
  • tackling poverty
  • financial sustainability and resilience

Key actions

Strategic themesWhat we will do

Building a fairer economy and tackling poverty

  • Continue to pay above the real living wage and encourage local businesses to do the same, and whilst maintaining our accreditation in this area we will scope out the feasibility of working towards Living Hours Accreditation
  • Through the Jobs and Training Fund, create fair and meaningful work and training opportunities for young people in our communities and bringing new talent into the Council’s workforce
  • Create further opportunities and widen the range of choices for Graduate Interns to support projects in areas such as:
    • community led regeneration
    • climate change
    • marketing and digital skills
    • supporting the Ayrshire Growth Deal
    • a range of projects within the Health & Social Care Partnership
  • Further develop the Workforce and Future Skills Team to support the expansion of apprenticeships and Graduate Intern posts, and drive forward a range of workforce projects developed as part of the five year Workforce Strategy Action
  • Collaborate with schools, colleges and employability services to deliver successes set out in our wider Workforce Action Plan
  • Continue to use and further develop tools to support the re-modelling of our services in line with our Financial and Strategic Plans
  • Equalities will be a key focus of the Workforce Action Plan and with the establishment of the People and Culture Equalities Forum, and linking with the work of the Strategic Equalities group, we will ensure that we are doing all we can to break down barriers for people to enter our employment, develop and succeed in their careers and ensure that they do not face discrimination while at work
  • Through our commitment to the Equally Safe at Work programme which supports the implementation of Scotland’s national strategy to tackle violence Against Women and Girls (Equally Safe), we will address gender inequality and the barriers faced by women in the workplace
  • We have already reviewed the pay and grading structure of the Council to support those employees on the lowest pay grades and to account for some movement towards building more flexible workforces — this work will continue to identify if the Council structure remains fit for purpose or if further change is required to shape our workforce in the future
  • As we continue to create movement across our services through succession planning, upskilling and career change, we hope to either maintain or reduce the pay gap further by considering the number of factors that influence the gap
  • We will continue to monitor our rates of pay to ensure competitiveness, value and how they reflect the changing needs of our customers
  • We will continue to review our workforce policies and procedures on an annual basis as part of our policy review process in consultation with our Local Government and Teaching Trade Unions — this will ensure that all of the work we do as an employer is fair and meets employment legislation requirements
  • We will continue to actively work with Trade Union colleagues, service representatives and external partners where changes are required as a result of external drivers, workforce challenges we face in terms of recruitment and retention and the wide reach of equality matters
  • The People and Culture Service facilitate and promote a wide range of benefits for employees and continually seek ways of enhancing those benefits to support recruitment and retention as well as being mindful of the impact of the cost of living increase on employees — as part of the ongoing development of this platform, we will look to explore benefits with local businesses in East Ayrshire
  • We will review and develop the workforce data provided to support service review and redesign by providing workforce profiles to support projections of their future workforce, identify skills gaps and areas of scarce resource
  • We will provide good quality equality monitoring information in relation to recruitment, career progression and pay gap data to ensure we have a workforce representative of the demographic profile of East Ayrshire
  • We will link our workforce data to the Virtual Learning Platform which is being scoped out to support the identification of skills development needs and provide a range of reporting and monitoring information which will feed into East Ayrshire Performs, our Workforce Action Plan, Equalities Plan and People Strategy

Financial sustainability and resilience

  • In order to be financially sustainable in the future we require to meet the projected budget gap of £39m over the next five years — we will achieve this through a range of measures one of which must be workforce reduction
  • Provide support to services to ensure they have a clear picture of their current workforce and their turnover in terms of essential posts and/or large areas of workforce such as:
    • teaching
    • early years and classroom support
    • social workers and community care officers
    • catering and cleaning staff
  • Due to the financial pressures that lie ahead, the criteria used by the Workforce Review Group will require to be reviewed as part of the Workforce Strategy and Financial Strategy to give further consideration to posts currently classed as essential
  • Further consideration will be given to 'hard to fill' posts such as accountancy, ICT and HR professional roles and Housing Asset construction related posts — we also need to consider areas of growth such as financial inclusion, food security (National Food Plan), climate change/greener technology roles
  • More detailed projection and analysis work will be undertaken within the first year of the Workforce Strategy in order to meet the financial targets required, but continue to maintain our essential services — as part of this work the Council Management Team will consider strategic workforce requirements in line with our Strategic Priorities and Financial Strategy
  • Services will be required to work closely with their finance teams in order to address the financial pressure that lie ahead — this will then influence some of the key actions around expansion and/or retraction of services and movement of skills from one area to another

    Strategies and plans

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