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Nottinghamshire County Council: Virtual work placement programme

Nottinghamshire County Council created a virtual work placement programme aimed to engage the future workforce, while reflecting the hybrid working of the current employees.

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The challenge

Nottinghamshire County Council has faced workforce challenges including filling vacancies and engaging the future workforce.

A busy workforce and changes to how the council operates with the introduction of hybrid working has sometimes made it difficult for services to host work placements.

The solution

To overcome these challenges Nottinghamshire County Council launched their own virtual work experience programme to give individuals an opportunity to explore career opportunities with the authority.

The virtual work experience programme gives people on placements an understanding of council life, its structure, democracy, and what services it offers – as well as providing them with access to online learning courses.

Lyndsey Woolmore, Skills Development and Employment Team manager at the county council, said: “This is the first step in engaging with the workforce of the future by providing them with an opportunity to explore career opportunities available with Nottinghamshire County Council.

“The way we operate has changed over the past few years, especially in the wake of the pandemic, which has seen many more of our employees work in a hybrid way.

“This means people are working more remotely from their offices either at home or at an office base closer to where they live.

“Therefore, as a result, we have developed a hybrid work experience model that reflects the way or employees now work.

“We believe our new virtual work placement programme will give placements a better insight into the council’s departments, range of opportunities and careers with us.”

Work to create the new module has been led by Jade Daft, who is an apprentice on the council’s successful Graduate Development Programme.

The council is currently developing a second phase of the programme, which will be a learning platform offering those on placements an opportunity to delve deeper into the range of careers – with modules designed to build knowledge, skills and understanding of some of the roles the council offers and how this work meets its corporate priorities.

Councillor Gordon Wheeler, Cabinet Member for Personnel, said: “Here at Nottinghamshire County Council we pride ourselves in having a skilled workforce which can innovate and react to the challenges of delivering effective and efficient public services.

“In recent years we’ve had to assess and look at the way we work, and the launch of our new virtual work placement programme reflects those changes – particularly at a time when more people have the option to work remotely or office-based.

“The new webpage looks fantastic, is easy to use and I’m sure people on placements who use it will find it hugely beneficial as they look to fulfil their ambitions and visions for their futures.”