The Interim HR Group Manager introduced the Annual Workforce Profile Report, highlighting that the report gave figures as at the end of March 2022 and would be used as the basis of all future annual workforce reports.
Members had questions on the apprenticeship programme, and whether the scheme recruited apprentices from local schools or looked-after children. It was explained that the apprenticeship scheme was an internal programme and was based on business need. The Interim HR Group Manager suggested that a report on the apprenticeship programme be brought to the next Committee, to which Members agreed.
Several Members also passed on concerns from some of their constituents that it could be very difficult for members of the public to reach Council employees by telephone, and raised the question of whether Council workers had returned to working in the office. It was confirmed that there was now an increase in Council staff returning to the office to work, but also an acknowledgement that hybrid working would be the new normal practice for many Council employees.
Some Members remained concerned at the low disclosure levels on ethnicity and disability by Slough Borough Council employees, and it was explained that this data was now captured in anonymized form during the recruitment process from all applicants, so would be in the system for any new employees joining the Council. Members requested further details on ethnicity statistics to be made available on a regular basis, and there was also a request for statistics on how many current Council employees lived in Slough, which the officer agreed to provide.
Members also requested an update on the Council’s renewal and recovery plan which had been outlined at the previous meeting in February, and it was noted that an interim plan had been approved by Cabinet on 29th March.
The Chair asked for figures for how many qualified officers registered with British Institutions were currently employed in the Highways Department of the Council, as this question had been raised in a previous meeting which had not yet been answered.
At the conclusion of the discussion, the Annual Workforce Profile for 2021/22 was noted.
Resolved – that the report be noted.