Outplacement:Maximising internal redeployment, Sunderland City Council

Like every local council, Sunderland City Council faces enormous financial challenges.  Whereas we accept the need for change, we aim do this without resorting to mass redundancies.

We want to retain the workforce which has delivered our success in the past but to adapt, re-deploy and retrain.  By putting into place an intelligent, external recruitment freeze and developing our Internal Jobs Market we will be able to utilise our staff turnover, whilst helping people to move into new roles and careers.

Our Switch Team (Staff Working in Transition & Change) was created to manage the change process, where employees who are not part of the new structure would have the opportunity to support the business transformation by working on temporary projects across the Council, while we look to recruit them into permanent roles.

Switch staff will work on a variety of projects and in turn develop new skills, explore their potential and find a future that is right for them through our Internal Jobs Market.

We realise that our employees need support during this time of change and have developed a support package made up of flexible working, mentoring & coaching, training and careers guidance.

Career Sage is an excellent careers resource which incorporates advice & guidance about career change, a CV Builder and links to some fantastic career focused facilities.  It helps individuals think differently about their future and consider careers, which would have not previously been on their radar.  We have been able to adapt the site to meet our specific and, with the help of the team from Ways HRC, the site looks and feels personal to our staff here in Sunderland.

A useful feature is that the support staff within the Switch Team are able to use Career Sage to deliver quality career planning and guidance in both workshops and one to one situations.  The feedback has been excellent and ideas are flowing in on how we can use Career Sage to its maximum potential.

Being able to control content is important to us to react to our changing situation.  Ways have taken this into consideration and provided simple instruction & training on how we can keep information up to date and relevant.

Overall, we believe that Career Sage supports our employees through a difficult time by offering the realistic advice and facilities they need to face this challenge.  At the same time it adds real value to our change process.

Dave Rippon, Head of OD, Sunderland City Council

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