Public service workers will have to become Jacks and Jills of all trades

Posted on Thursday 15th May 2014

An article by HSMC's Catherine Needham entitled 'Public service workers will have to become Jacks and Jills of all trades’ was published in 'The Guardian' today. Catherine writes:

"When Kent county council was looking to save money a couple of years ago, it hit upon the idea of merging the roles of library manager and registrar. Library managers were expected to register births and deaths on top of their existing duties, and registrars took on roles in libraries. One former library manager chose to leave the service as a result. It wasn't, he said, what he signed up for: "I don't associate the skills in running a library with those of a registrar. I don't have the emotional skill to do it. Since the council was looking to cut staff numbers, it was probably not too troubled by his departure. But this does raise questions about how to support staff who are being asked to work well beyond their professional boundaries.

In our 21st Century Public Servant project at the University of Birmingham, we have found that this trend is evident across public services. We interviewed local government managers who said staff needed to think differently about their skills…"

 

Read the full article in the Guardian here