Thursday 13 June 2024
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Nottingham

50% more Nottinghamshire fire service support staff leaving the job than budgeted

The fire service is putting plans in place to tackle higher than expected numbers of staff leaving its support services.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service employ more than 150 support staff who work in areas including administration, HR, training, vehicle maintenance, property management, ICT, communications and finance.

From April to December 2022, the number of people leaving support roles was “higher than predicted” with 30 leavers compared to a forecast of 19.5 leavers.

This includes the completion of seven fixed-term appointments and three retirements.

The report was discussed at the Human Resources Committee of Nottinghamshire and Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority on January 13.

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The authority is a body of local councillors and fire officers which monitors the service’s performance and spending.

The workforce plan, which looks ahead at workforce numbers for 2022-24, predicts that 52 support staff could leave the service before April 2024.

The fire service says a recruitment and retention plan is in place.

Tracy Crump, Head of People and Organisational Development, said the service has looked at exit interviews and found that most employees left because of pay and lack of development options.

But papers state that “clearly in the current economic climate, there is
limited scope to enhance salary”.

Ms Crump said: “The support establishment is where we have been seeing a lot of turnover. We looked at exit interviews and the reasons people were leaving.

“It tended to be a pay issue which is perhaps not a surprise. Also things around development and the ability to move on in the organisation. Those are things we are going to address in the next year or so.

“We have appointed to 20 support roles in the year and some really good people are coming into the organisation.”

Candida Brudenell, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, added: “Everybody knows what a firefighter is.

“One of the things we are conscious of is there are a range of opportunities within the service which perhaps aren’t as glamorous as people perceive firefighting to be.”

The report stated: “This reflects the national picture of turnover where employment vacancy rates have increased significantly.

“This has been identified as a potential area of concern for the service, and work has been undertaken to address the issue.

“This includes enhancing our employer brand to attract more potential recruits, engaging in pre-recruitment on social media, reducing the time taken to recruit into vacant posts and reviewing non-salary benefits.”

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