Thames Reach
Thursday 30 March 2017
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Human resources team

Much of the organisation of the recruitment, training and support of trainees has been led by the Human Resources Team. The team also offers advice and guidance around Criminal Records Bureau checks, references and sickness absence.

 

Lessons learnt

The HR team recommends that any organisation seeking to mainstream user employment should carefully consider the following:

  • How to communicate the introduction of service user traineeships to all staff to encourage support from the beginning
  • The need for a good, compulsory level of training and support to be provided to trainees
  • Consider ways to support the employee with serious personal issues that may impact on their work, and also how to train and support supervisors and line managers to deal with these matters
  • How to prepare the teams to be involved – ensure teams and managers receive training to accommodate and support a trainee well
  • The need for someone to be in place to oversee, coordinate and monitor the traineeships and culture change
  • Whether there are entry-level jobs within the organisation for trainees to move into

 

According to the HR team, the following factors helped lead to a successful mainstreaming process:

  • Considerable preparation by the GROW project manager, e.g. the well-thought-out and well-tested systems and materials already developed in the earlier phase of the project.
  • The positive response from projects who were keen to get involved in recruitment and take on trainees
  • The attendance of the learning and development manager at training and induction days prior to taking over the scheme
  • Regular meetings with the GROW project manager in the time leading up to mainstreaming
  • The GROW project manager’s ongoing support to the learning and development manager during the first month of the first mainstreamed trainee intake
  • The benefits that GROW trainees demonstrated to all staff at all levels of the organisation

Learning and Development Manager

Before and during mainstreaming

Prior to mainstreaming, the GROW project manager led on training delivery and the learning and development manager contributed through:

  • Providing training (0.5 to 1 day per intake)
  • Occasional ad hoc meetings with the GROW project manager

After mainstreaming

Since mainstreaming service user employment, the GROW project manager has handed over the training to the learning and development manager who now spends approximately 15% of his time on user employment-related tasks and is responsible for:

  • Providing induction and training to each intake, including trainees, placement supervisors, life coaches and team managers
  • Facilitating quarterly support meetings with trainees, placement supervisors and life coaches
  • Providing informal, ad hoc support if placements break down – the learning and development manager is the only member of staff to have access to trainees’ confidential stress management plans and he is able to support the trainee to put this plan in action
  • Carrying out the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the induction and training programme

Learning and Development Assistant

Before and during mainstreaming

The learning and development assistant was recruited in May 2007 and therefore traineeships have always been a feature of her role.

During mainstreaming, the learning and development assistant was involved in:

  • Assisting the learning and development manager in producing the training materials for trainees, placement supervisors and life coaches

After mainstreaming

Since mainstreaming service user employment, the learning and development assistant is responsible for:

  • Administrating the training course bookings
  • Answering enquiries around traineeships

This accounts for approximately 5% of her time.

Human resources officer A

Before and during mainstreaming

The human resources officer A spent approximately 15% of his time on GROW, with 5% spent supporting line managers of trainees in post and the GROW project manager with employment-related queries. Tasks included:

  • Supporting the GROW project manager to recruit new trainees, including attendance at project information sessions
  • Providing new trainees with a small induction to human resources, employment contracts and key employment-related policies
  • Responding to queries from line managers and the GROW project manager about policy and procedures related to trainees, as matters arose
  • Discussing suitable vacancies with trainees
  • Producing reports, for example those analysing the diversity of applicants
  • Producing materials for these web pages

After mainstreaming

  • Co-ordinating the recruitment of new trainees each year working with the recruitment panels, human resources team and service managers. This involves approximately 5% of his time.

Human resources officer B

In her own words, human resources officer B didn’t spend a huge portion of her time on GROW prior to the mainstreaming of user employment.

Before and during mainstreaming

Her responsibilities included supporting the GROW project manager and human resources officer A with the recruitment of the October 2006 trainees, including:

  • Responding to candidate enquiries
  • Booking assessed visits
  • Inviting candidates and sending out invitation letters
  • Attending induction meetings
  • Collecting HR paperwork
  • Ensuring employment and recruitment policies and practices are adapted to service user employment

After mainstreaming

The human resources officer B now spends approximately 20% of her time on related tasks during the four months before each intake of traineeships commences, equating to 20% of her total time, on:

  • Recruitment administration for each intake of trainees