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Workforce Planning - helping councils and their partners strategically manage their present and future workforce demand

Workforce Planning


Dot  McLaughlin,
Programme Manager

Tel. 01506 283807

Email Dot

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At its simplest, workforce planning is about understanding the future strategic direction of the organisation and therefore the demand for different types of skills and seeking to match this with supply. Effective workforce planning is an important tool to help councils maximise their resources and build current and future capacity in a structured and planned way in order to meet outcomes.


Workforce planning has a significant role in delivering improved services including supporting councils and their partners in the transformational change required by public service reform, health and social care integration and the move to more locality and place-based interventions. It assists strategic resource planning by corporate management teams and helps them achieve strategic priorities such as efficiency gains and tackling equalities. It can help:


  • deliver improved services by linking corporate strategy to people plans
  • retain employees and manage reductions in the workforce more strategically
  • future proof the skills mix of the workforce by ensuring that skills are aligned to new requirements
  • determine how many employees there are, how many will be needed and in what areas
  • better manage supply at national, regional and local levels to meet demand
  • collaborate to increase the supply of specific skills and specific types of workers
  • manage employment expenditure by anticipating changes
  • provide information to predict and address peaks and troughs in supply and demand for specific skills


Crucially, to be fully effective, workforce planning needs to include longer term thinking about future corporate and service provision; councils and their partners need to put strategies in place to link service, financial and change management priorities alongside people plans.


To find out about the Improvement Service's services to support councils and CPPs with workforce planning, click on the tabs on the left. Workforce planning is a strand in the wider “Outcomes Resourcing” support offered by the IS.


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