Agenda item

Breckland Training Services

Report of the HR Manager.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director of Commissioning presented the report which was to consider the proposals to charge for Breckland’s Training Services including the proposal to increase the staff establishment to enable that, which were linked to Option (c) below.

 

He clarified the Options which were :-

 

(a)               To provide training to Breckland Council employees only

(b)               To provide training to Breckland Council employees, whilst also generating income by delivering externally to the extent that current capacity allows

(c)               To establish Breckland Training Services, to provide training internally and externally as set out in the Business Proposal document (appendix a)

(d)               To establish Breckland Training Services as a Trading Unit, to provide training to Breckland (as a client) and other external clients

 

He gave examples of training courses already booked despite no active marketing or promotion having taken place.  A meeting was due to be held on 14 June 2012 with Inspire East with regard to being one of their nominated training providers.

 

A Councillor liked the current flexibility of Member Training and would not like to see it lost within a bigger organisation.  Breckland Council was only one of two in the South East to have received the Member Development Charter Plus Standard, and Member Training would be a core part of the Business Plan for the Service as advised by the Assistant Director of Commissioning.  He would clarify the charges stated in the report with regard to training delivered at Elizabeth House/Breckland House.

 

Whilst a Councillor felt there might be a risk that the internal training would suffer as a result due to increased external clients, he believed the proposal was a brilliant idea.  There were a lot of very good reasons that it would help Breckland both as an area of excellence and help Breckland businesses.  He encouraged it and wondered if Breckland were being over cautious, but understood the reluctance at this stage to recommend Option (d). He suggested a review after Year 1 to enable a speedier process be implemented if required. The Assistant Director of Commissioning advised that he was already scheduled to attend the LJCC on 13 December 2012 with a review report.

 

The Executive Member for Finance & Democratic Services would have preferred to have seen the confirmed income in place, which had been forecasted in Year 1 as being circa £60k, and that the current training capacity was at its maximum rather than employ an additional member of staff. To which the Assistant Director of Commissioning explained that currently there was not enough resource to fulfil obligations internally and to promote services more widely externally.  The Executive Member’s response was to employ someone on a temporary contract to ascertain if there was a demand for the services proposed.

 

Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors were pointed out within the draft Training & Development Prospectus, which would be reviewed prior to being finalised by the Communications Team.

 

Whilst a Councillor believed the proposal was a positive way forward she advised of her concern with regard to other providers

 

The Assistant Director of Commissioning was asked what would be Breckland Training Services’ unique selling point, to which he advised that the style and delivery of training was different to others provided within the local area, along with Charter Plus being held, and clear proven Member training tested at both Breckland and South Holland.  With the staff’s regional reputations there would be an opportunity to meet targets and projections advised in the report.

 

As Breckland District Council were undertaking research into what services they should provide and were intending to consult with the public and Parish Councils later in the year, the Executive Member for Finance & Democratic Services questioned if it would be more opportune to await the outcome of the consultations.

 

            RECOMMEND to Council that they :

 

(a)               Agree to charge for Breckland’s Training Services

(b)               Agree to increase the staff establishment in the training team by 1 FTE on the basis that it would be funded entirely by the income to the trading unit

(c)               Establish Breckland Training Services, to provide training internally and externally as set out in the Business Proposal document (Appendix A) subject to, it being reviewed after one year and not three, with regard to the establishment of a trading unit, and that an interim report returned to the General Purposes Committee after it had gone to LJCC on 13 December 2012.

 

Supporting documents: