Local authorities are responsible for the provision of all local government services within a geographical location.
There are many challenges facing Local Authorities and a need to rapidly respond to changes on many different levels and within many different departments. COVID-19 has only accelerated the need to address these challenges, with tech & digital skills gaps taking centre stage within organisations, reskilling a current member of staff or bringing in a new recruit both through an apprenticeship opportunity could be the solution.
“The public sector is digitally transforming rapidly. Core questions are being asked about the core processes within schools, hospitals, emergency services and local authorities can gain efficiencies via digitalisation.”
“At the same time, there are grumbles and rebukes as to the value added being returned by overpriced and underperforming external suppliers. External suppliers make sense but NOT without the guidance of competent internal supervision (which is why Public Sector bodies need to offer digital degree apprenticeships).”
“The cost-efficiencies gained from internal staffing of everyday infrastructure technicians, network engineers, software developers, data analysts, cyber security technicians, digital marketers, digital support technicians and more.”
Why should Local Authorities invest in their Tech & Digital skills?
Local Authorities are of critical importance and are at the heart of local communities, now more so than ever, shaping, transforming, growing and maintaining the places and areas we value the most. Ensuring that Local Authorities embrace, exploit and leverage all of their tech & digital capabilities is paramount for their efficient, methodical and strategic provision to their community. Tech & digital is growing at an exponential rate, so keeping a finger on the pulse and remaining part of the, predominantly online, conversation is the way that most companies and businesses are ensuring their success in 2021 and moving with the very fast changing digital age.
Industry 4.0 is on its way and with it will bring new levels of technology that can be used such as the likes of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Blockchain and 5G, just to mention a few. The ability to continuously learn, renegotiate and develop is going to be the key to success as tech & digital continues to grow and evolve. Don’t just learn a software language then stop, be clued up on the latest trends and keep evolving as demand grows.
Changes to the Local Authority Workforce via Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation is the use of new, fast and frequently changing digital technology to solve problems.
Digital transformation will also mean a transformation in the skills of the workforce required to enact this Fourth Industrial Revolution. Certain skills and job roles will decline as new emergent tech and digital roles appear. Whilst machines will take on an increasing amount of functions, the workforce must know how to use and manage the machines. Jobs made up of routine tasks are most at risk of decline and replacement by technology, whereas occupations requiring interpersonal and cognitive skills are likely to grow.
The acceleration of Digital Transformation will change how Local Authorities provide various services, placing a huge pressure on online delivery and remote operations. With Local Authorities being increasingly dependant on building relations with local residents and those in different sectors and different areas of communities, making decisions that ensure local people get the most practical and coherent service. Where are these people? Where do people express their opinions? How do people operate in the twenty first century? Online!
With Data Entry Clerks becoming Data Researchers / Analysts and Database Managers, Telemarketers becoming Digital Marketers and Auditors becoming IT Consultants, we can se how the working world is changing and Local Authorities should be at the very forefront of this digital revolution.
Why is this Important?
The rapid progression of the digital age has seen more and more job roles fall victim to automation, however that’s not to say there are less jobs. Simply, that the jobs that are now becoming relevant to the modern-day workplace have changed and require staff to have new and different skills. The government introduced a levy in 2016 specifically to fund skills development and apprenticeships to proactively meet the inevitable impending skills gap, which all employers can draw from to either employ new apprentices or develop existing staff.
Skilled, ready to work, determined and digitally minded apprentices could be the cost effective and valuable way to plug these gaps and move Local Authorities even further into this tech & digitally dependant era. In house Digital Marketers, Infrastructure Technicians, Software Developers, Data Technicians and Network Engineer apprentices are ready and waiting for you!
How can an Apprentice help?
Local Authorities, particularly Local Councils, are mostly concerned with areas that are close to our homes, operating in a transparent, strategic and concise way. Ensuring correct policies, data and procedures are handled correctly and efficiently means they cannot afford to fall behind with up to date processes, operations and fundamentally; technology.
A proficient and eager apprentice would work primarily on ensuring all of these goals are met, all whilst bringing a new vibrancy and determination to the workforce. Local Authorities are a “hive of activity”, providing a fantastic way for apprentices to start their careers. Local governments also provide a wealth of development opportunities, also operating as a brilliant springboard into many other areas. An apprentice would jump at the chance to work alongside a Local Authority due to the “close to home” nature of the industry. Councils work tirelessly to ensure that we function in a fair, supported and well protected environment, so an apprentice would flourish in a significant and upstanding sector.
The value that an apprentice can add is endless. Local Authorities could improve service to customers, be more effective at winning new business in new markets, leverage internal efficiencies in support functions and establish and secure new opportunities. Systems and databases are at the centre of Local Authority functionality; maybe amongst the COVID madness your systems are not as effective as they once were? A tech-minded apprentice could be linking systems together or modifying those systems to fit Local Authority needs.
We live in an age where managing data well is not only a legal requirement, but it can also be the driving force for operational success. An apprentice could work on flows of data, it’s transparency and effectiveness, ensure regular, accessible market presence to drive awareness and interest and even reduce risk through improved cyber and better handling of sensitive information.
Reskilling a current team member into an apprenticeship
Maybe somebody already exists in your team who possesses the right qualities to re-skill into a new role to fill a skills gap, via an apprenticeship route.
Skills development would allow a Local Authority to retrain and retain their team! Redeploy a dedicated and valuable staff member who could potentially be at risk in their current position? This is a great way to invest in your current workforce, to show backing and support in a time where they cold need it the most. Ensure the talent in your team stays and develop a high calibre of strong and motivated employees who are constantly evolving to bridge the skills gaps that are appearing.
Tech & Digital Apprenticeships are there to help and compliment Local Authorities. With roles and responsibilities continuing to regenerate and transform and an emphasis on so many areas and communities requiring even more support from Local Authorities, Councils and other partner organisations need to armed with the most talented and skilled employees who can not only apply but lead and innovate.
Higher Level Apprenticeships are there to do just that. Deploy a Level 3 apprentice within the team, watch them grow, help mould them to the employee you need them to be and progress them onto a Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship where they can lead from the front.
The Apprenticeship Levy
Local Authorities will pay the Apprenticeship Levy if their payroll exceeds £3 million at a rate of 0.5% of the wage bill. The government top up this payment up by 10%. These helpful funds can only be spent on apprenticeship training for current or new staff members and are allocated to a training provider via the Apprenticeship Service, where the Levy is used to fund the full cost of an apprenticeship.
If you are a Levy paying Local Authority then these funds have already been put aside to help and support these business decisions, so why not use them now?
If you are, or work for, a Local Authority and are looking to improve communication, create efficiencies, improve inclusivity, save money and help drive the local and national economy, get in touch for a no-obligation phone call. If you need a range of different people, of different ages and from different backgrounds to provide updated services and ensure you are tech & digitally secure, an apprenticeship could be your solution!
Call: 0333 101 00 52