Local government employers know that only a properly motivated, skilled and rewarded workforce can deliver the best possible services to communities across Scotland. Local government needs to make the best use of its resources and that depends on competing for and securing the right people in the right jobs at the right time, with the right skills– and at an affordable cost.

Effective people are at the heart of excellence public services and our award winners have all delivered leading-edge projects where innovative ideas and practical solutions are helping their organisation rise to the challenge of securing a workforce for the future. Their work includes attracting and retaining high calibre employees, building capacity through greater flexibility and productivity, developing effective partnerships, and developing workforce planning arrangements.


West Lothian Council – Frontline In-house Accredited Learning

Frontline In-house Accredited Learning project is a leading and innovative yet practical example of identifying, planning and delivering essential training/learning to over 2000 frontline employees whilst working in an environment of budget reduction. Historically within the service, there has been a high dependency on external training providers at a significant cost. Utilising the available budget, the project has achieved the creation of an in-house Learning and Development team which has delivered a host of nationally accredited learning programmes (centre approval gained through various accrediting bodies) offering increased flexibility, efficiency, partnership working, employee benefits, value for money and essentially ensuring that employees have the knowledge, skills and ability to enable the organisation to deliver high quality services to the community of West Lothian (WL).

Download the application: Accredited Learning


East Renfrewshire Council – Achieving Efficiency, Change and Improvement Through Our Workforce

The Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) and Chartered Management Institute (CMI) accredited Personal Development Award (PDA) in Project Management is the first of its kind to be delivered in-house within a local authority. The Council, like others, has challenging efficiency savings to make and had to think of an innovative approach to implementing and sustaining a programme of change that could be delivered within its workforce.

To drive this change and meet the set efficiency targets, a Programme Management Office was set up on a small scale. It was acknowledged though that the team could not deliver the significant savings and implement the sustainable change required across the organisation without the support of employees from service areas across the Council. Therefore, the PDA award was introduced to equip employees with the skills and knowledge required to successfully carry out challenging change projects across the Council to improve the impact and efficiency of our work.

Download the application:Achieving Efficiency, Change and Improvement Through Our Workforce


North Ayrshire Council – Building Services Transformation

North Ayrshire Council Building Services recognised that it faced a number of significant challenges if it was to continue to ensure sustainability in an unstable economy, provide a secure future for its workforce, reduce the impact of diminishing income streams and provide a value for money service to customers. Following an in-depth review, which included consultation with all our key stakeholders including our workforce, a transformation programme was developed and implemented to address key issues:

Download the application: Building Services Transformation


Renfrewshire Council – Business Support

Renfrewshire Council has developed an innovative way of managing and developing the 650 staff who deliver support services across the Council.  This has allowed the Council to respond proactively to the financial challenges it faces and maintain effective support for critical front line services.   Our new “Business Support” function was created to bring together administrative, clerical and secretarial staff from all departments (including schools and social work establishments) into a single organisation.  The operating model was re-shaped around common tasks rather than departments combined with the co-location of staff where practical.  The model allowed, for the first time, the introduction of effective work force planning and consistent training for this group of staff as well as creating career development opportunities that were previously not possible.   This has allowed for the development of a highly skilled, professional and adaptable workforce which can more easily respond to changing customer needs.  It has also enabled substantial savings (£3m cashable) to be realised while increasing service resilience and protecting front line services.

Download the application:Business Support


Aberdeenshire Council – Creative Edge

The Creative Edge pilot project was a different delivery model designed to inspire and engage pupils and parents, broadening understanding of career choices in the creative industries and cultural sector as well as providing new targeted opportunities for 80 pupils to be individually mentored by creative professionals. The pilot tested an early intervention with younger S01 and S02 pupils, across 4 Academies, before they made their subject choices.  The project delivers excellence in service innovation and improvement by giving pupils creative transferrable workplace skills for a rapidly changing work market, where there are no jobs for life and pupils may have to negotiate several careers in a lifetime.  Aberdeenshire is heavily reliant on the oil industry. This project advocates the benefits of creative skills development to help in diversifying Aberdeenshire’s economic base.

Download the application: Creative Edge


Dumfries and Galloway Council- Experience Works! Public Sector Work Experience Initiative

Dumfries and Galloway Council recognises its role as the largest employer in the region and is determined to maximise its capability and capacity to support youth unemployment at a time of reducing public sector resources, whilst using the experience of the Employability and Skills Service to facilitate and coordinate initiatives that can support our objectives and priorities across the wider public sector.

‘Experience Works’ is a collaborative project created and funded by Dumfries and Galloway Community Planning Partners: Police; Fire; NHS and Council to promote, develop and coordinate a network of safe, sustainable work experience opportunities across the public sector designed to provide young people from across Dumfries and Galloway with the experience they need to support them into paid employment, education or training.

The project has successfully grown the number of opportunities from 27 in March 2013 to 175 in September 2014 with more opportunities under development. The focus of the project is to ensure that opportunities meet the needs of all service users irrespective of academic, social, geographic or health barriers. Opportunities include placements that are developed individually or for group attendance.  The work experience co-ordination unit underpins the organisation of placements through a streamlined process that cuts through bureaucracy. It has also been expanded to encompass the private and 3rd sectors.

The project has been enhanced by Scottish and European funding to provide 36 paid work experience opportunities within the local authority for those that are deemed to be furthest from the labour market with extended placements of 26 weeks to build and fine tune their employability skills.

Download the application: Experience Works


Argyll and Bute Council- Argyll and Bute Manager – developing leaders and managers for the future

The Argyll and Bute Manager is the first ever leadership and management development programme designed specifically to meet the needs of Argyll and Bute Council’s managers.  For the first time, Argyll and Bute Council has taken a blended learning approach, aligned to the corporate objectives, to develop excellent leadership and management skills in its workforce.  The programme is integral to supporting excellence in service delivery by ensuring that everyone in a management and leadership role has access to support and feedback to enhance skills, competencies and knowledge.  The Argyll and Bute Manager programme has been designed to be practical and flexible in delivery and to relate to the corporate context.  Excellent feedback from managers shows that we have an effective and affordable programme that’s delivering motivated and skilled employees to secure a workforce for the future.

Download the application: Manager Programme


West Lothian Council – Modern Apprentice Programme Expansion

West Lothian Council (WLC) has a proud history of participating in the Modern Apprentice (MA) programme, which includes ‘traditional trades’, horticulture, highway maintenance and vehicle mechanics.  In 2012 the programme expanded significantly to offer new (non trade) apprenticeships on a council-wide scale delivered over a 2 year period.  The total number of apprentices employed in WLC is 109 and the plan is to recruit a further 10 apprentices during 2014/15 and a further 20 in 2015/16. In addition, we continue to invest in our traditional apprenticeships supporting employment position.

Download the application: Modern Apprentice Scheme