Staff shortages: Wakefield Council struggling to recruit planners and legal advisors

Wakefield Council is struggling to recruit town planners, legal advisors and other administrative staff.

Monday, 10th January 2022, 2:29 pm
Updated Monday, 10th January 2022, 2:30 pm
Town planners are among those the council is struggling to find.

A report by the local authority said it was not alone in facing staff shortages, with organisations across the country having similar problems.

The council said "retention payments" to help keep hold of existing employees was one measure under consideration.

These were used to help hire and retain social workers in children's services, which was beset by high turnover around the time it was rated inadequate in 2018.

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The service has since enjoyed stability and its rating was upgraded to 'good' by Ofsted last week.

The report, going before a council committee next Monday, said: "The council is currently having difficulties in filling certain roles these include adult care workers, planners, legal advisors and some administrative roles.

"This situation is not unique to Wakefield and is caused by numerous factors that have led to a reduction in the pool of applicants across a variety of roles.

"Retention payments for roles, where retaining employees is an issue,

can be considered.

"This was put in place following the Ofsted inspection in children when social workers were leaving to work for other local authorities.

"This payment was made at set points to ensure we could retain staff."

The report also said a senior recruitment advisor had been employed by the council to help managers "recruit well".

It added that connections had been developed with universities that "provide courses in the areas we find difficult to fill."

Last summer, the local authority warned of delays in processing planning applications, which was partly caused by a shortage of people working in the department.

Local Democracy Reporting Service