Over the preceding months there has been a lot of conversation around the importance of the work carried out by carers and other roles that have historically been categorised as low skill and therefore invariably low paid. Many of these roles have, since the start of the pandemic, been identified as essential work. As such, they are starting to be recognised for the vital contribution that they provide. However, while the roles themselves are being recognised as essential, the financial reward associated with them continues to be low.

Recruitment challenges

Although, arguably, some of the most essential jobs around, these roles are understandably becoming difficult to recruit for. In the medium to long-term, unless this challenge is addressed, it is likely to have a major impact on local government and the services it can provide. This challenge is brought about by the combination of Britain leaving the EU and many European workers deciding to return home, along with workers in these roles being required to be mobile and local, be willing to work antisocial hours, and be doing a job that many people wouldn’t want to do. This is coupled with the compensation often being less than the recommended living wage, culminating in a deficit of people be willing to apply for these positions. In fact, many people already working in these roles are looking for alternative employment.

Skills v Value

With these considerations in mind, maybe the time has come for organisations to start re-evaluating their essential workers? If the role is important, nay vital, maybe the actual skill level shouldn’t be the main factor in deciding the financial recompense of the job? These are both important questions for councils to address. Of course, when it comes to their reward strategy for their workforce, organisations should be looking beyond base pay to total reward, to include a whole range of other benefits within their employees’ employment package. This will promote and encourage employee engagement, which will in turn improve organisational performance too. The importance of properly valuing the vital resource of essential workers is impossible to underestimate.

How we can help you develop

At C.Co, we have a vast range of experience in development, change and transformation projects. Our team works flexibly and collaboratively to help you develop workable opportunities and solutions that can help address the challenges of skills versus value in a changing local government landscape.

We focus on contributing to and improving project or serviced outcomes through evidenced-based findings, providing solutions which will ensure a positive impact with the local community, stakeholders and staff, but always with a commercial basis in mind.

Contact our team of professionals to see how we can work with you on your next project.