iNetwork Recruitment & Retention Week

A week of events focusing on the challenges of recruitment and retention in the local public sector

Across the public sector, organisations are facing increased workforce pressures and many are reporting a staffing crisis. Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic have both impacted and influenced the workforce and many organisations have been forced to adapt and reconsider their hiring practices. 

With recruitment and the retention of staff proving a significant focus across the sector, iNetwork is hosting a week of online events focusing on the challenges of recruitment and retention in the local public sector.

We are delighted to host a wide range of speakers for a full week of activity and debate. Join us for a webinar, sharing case studies and experience, take away practical tips and tools from one of our masterclasses, or interact with us on a Q&A panel to hear views and thoughts, tackling your big questions.

Delegates can join us to explore how the sector is responding to the challenges and the opportunities being utilised by organisations to promote and support their workforce. Find out more information on each session and sign up for a ticket to attend below.

2:00  – 3:00  iN The Loop: The Public Sector Skills Gap

One of the largest challenges facing the public sector is attracting talent and recruiting people with relevant experience into senior roles. With years of austerity and cuts to public sector funding, private sector organisations can often offer higher salaries and benefits, therefore appearing more attractive to job seekers.

This session will explore the current issues facing the public sector workforce and what organisations are doing in an attempt to combat the staffing crisis.

Facilitator: Shelley Heckman, Director – iNetwork


Sharon Senior, Executive Director – North West Employers

Lauren Collins, Director – Social 1st Recruitment

Sarah Eckersley, HR, OD and Skills Office at Trafford Council

Register for webinar >>

2:00  – 4:00  Attracting & Growing Talent in Your Organisation

Attracting staff to the public sector has been a long standing issue for organisations, with approximately 75% of all local authorities reporting recruitment issues. The public sector workforce has declined by 7% since 2010 and receives the lowest average applications per job than any other sector. There is a reliance on temporary and agency staff within many public sector organisations, however, the sector is struggling to source the skills it needs. 73% of public sector employers say they do not have access to the skills required to meet their organisation’s goals, and 24% are going through a ‘moderate or extreme’ skills shortage.

Coupled with the ageing population and workforce, the public sector faces the additional challenge of attracting the younger population and competing with the draws of the private sector, many of whom offer large salaries and bonus packages.

This event will focus on the ongoing recruitment challenges faced by the public sector and how it can respond to the recruitment and development needs of staff and organisations.

Facilitator: Hannah Gains, Stakeholder Engagement Manager – iNetwork


Julie Davison, Regional Apprenticeships Manager/ Engagement Lead – North West Skills Development Network

Nigel Carruthers, Senior Advisor, Local Government Association

Billy Webster, Assistant Director of Commercialisation, St Helens Borough Council

Rosie Anderson, Co-Director, Honeypot Digital

Register for webinar >>

10:00 – 12:00  Cyber Skills: Talent Retention & Recruitment

In a digital age, cyber skills are a hot commodity across all sectors. The need for in-house skills to protect our data from cyber attack and malicious actors has grown exponentially in recent years. The public sector is competing with all other sectors for the same cyber skills talent.

This session explores ways in which the public sector can recruit and retain cyber skills talent. We will look at the challenges and consider solutions. You will have the opportunity to hear some expert speakers and to ask/raise questions in the session to the wider the group.

Facilitator: Shelley Heckman, Director – iNetwork


Ruby Motabhoy, Plexal

Mark Wilcox, Circo IT

Rebekah Wilson, LGA

Rosie Anderson, Honey Pot Digital

Register for webinar >>

 2:00  – 4:00  The Workforce Capacity in Health & Social Care

The UK has an ageing population with more complex health needs. This means the NHS needs to provide more health care, and therefore employ enough people, in the right roles, working as effectively as possible. Workforce shortages are the biggest single challenge facing the NHS and adult social care. Effective workforce planning that considers the quantity and type of health care demanded by service users is key to addressing these shortages. Councils and the NHS, working with providers and other partners, need to anticipate and respond effectively to the changing health and care needs of the population over time.

If care and support continue to be delivered in the same way, workforce projections suggest that there would need to be a 32% (520,000) increase in social care jobs to 2.17 million by 2035. In the current climate of high turnover of staff and vacancies, this is unrealistic. Staff turnover rates within health and social care are amongst the highest in the country, approximately 28.5% in 2020/21, with an estimated 10.3% of roles within the sector being vacant. Many organisations are having to rely on agency or temporary staff to meet demand.

This event explores the complexities surrounding the recruitment and retention of a talented health and social care workforce and how organisations are responding to the increased demand within the ever increasing budgetary pressures facing the sector.

Facilitator: Hannah Gains, Stakeholder Engagement Manager – iNetwork


Anna Jenkins, Principal Social Worker Adult Services – Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Caroline Hardman, Programme Manager – Wigan Council

Leanne Jones, OD Business Partner – Wigan Council

Matthew Devlin, Regional Engagement Lead – Social Work England

Julie Gallagher, Associate Director of Transformation and Partnerships, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside

Laura Parker, Workforce Development Lead – Adult Services, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Register for webinar >>

10:00 – 11:00  Representative Recruitment in the Public Sector

There are many issues facing people both entering or within the workplace, but some groups face greater challenges in realising their career aims because of barriers to equality of opportunity. When most of us think of equality and diversity in the workplace, factors such as age, race, gender and cultural background spring to mind. Diversity and inclusion doesn’t just involve how we think about ourselves, it includes our interactions with others.

Embracing diversity and providing equality goes a long way in promoting a work culture which values talent beyond stereotypes and helps people reach their potential by contributing their best beyond any prejudice. Moreover, an inclusive workplace fosters better productivity and efficiency.

This panel discussion will focus on how organisations are promoting Equality and Diversity within their workplaces and recruitment practices and the importance of fostering an inclusive working environment.

Facilitator: Hannah Gains, Stakeholder Engagement Manager – iNetwork


Adiba Charlesworth, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager – Bury Council

Cara Caso, Business Manager, Employability Division, Maximus UK

Karl Robson, Panel Member, LGBT Foundation, GMCA

Register for webinar >>


10:00 – 12:00  Retaining a Talented Workforce

Public sector organisations are built on the skill, experience and loyalty of their employees and a high level of turnover can have a negative impact on an organisation’s performance. By understanding the reasons behind staff turnover, employers can devise initiatives that reduce turnover and increase employee retention. Over time, a low retention rate can build into a significant drain on delivery, and represents an increase in operating costs. The quality of a good retention rate is important, it reduces the costs of replacement and there is less of an impact on productivity, engagement and culture.

By implementing strategies for employee retention, public sector organisations can retain the talent that will help them deliver better services. There is more opportunity for knowledge sharing, better training for newer employees and the increased potential for growth and resilience.

This event will focus on the ongoing retention challenges faced by the public sector and what organisations can do to promote staff engagement, wellbeing and retention.

Facilitator: Hannah Gains, Stakeholder Engagement Manager – iNetwork


Ben Davies, Psychological Skills Mentor, Chimp Management

Gemma Johnson-Davies, Co-Owner and Lead Facilitator, GO! Train & Develop

Kathryn Wileman, Head of Recruitment, Clover HR

Register for webinar >>