October 2023 marked one year since the first council went live with WMTemps powered by Opus People Solutions, so we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the past year and what has been achieved so far!
WMTemps was launched in 2022 by West Midlands Employers and is delivered in partnership with Opus People Solutions to provide an exciting opportunity for West Midlands councils to tackle a range of local government workforce problems and transform how they recruit and manage their temporary workforce.
The framework was developed to help local authorities in the region gain greater control on their temporary workforce spend by offering a regional solution that aims to reduce competition between councils for talent, improve service quality and reduce reliance on temporary workers by converting more temp workers to permanent roles. This will help to create greater stability in the workforce and provide the opportunity for local workers to develop longer term careers in local government.
Wyre Forest District Council was the first council to join WMTemps in October 2022 following a short implementation period and since then we are delighted to have also gone live with Redditch and Bromsgrove Councils in April 2023, Walsall Council in October 2023 and most recently Telford & Wrekin in January 2024. In addition to this, we are currently in the implementation process with two more councils in the region that will be going live in early 2024. These six councils alone are forecasted to make collective savings of over £8m in the next five years which can be reinvested back into the region.
Each of the local authorities we work with has a dedicated Opus team assigned to their contract to offer a consistent point of contact for both managers and workers and we have recently welcomed five more employees to our West Midlands team who are local to the region and plan to develop this further.
As well as working on implementations, WME and Opus have worked closely together to discuss workforce priorities for the region, identify opportunities and speak to local government employees about some of the challenges faced in terms of recruitment at events such as the PPMA and LGA conferences. We have also supported our councils to introduce new Agency Worker Policies and hosted manager’s roadshows to understand needs and challenges across different council departments.
A key focus behind WMTemps is changing the narrative of temporary recruitment and driving opportunities for temporary placements to be converted to permanent. We are delighted to report that 1 in 5 placements we have made in the West Midlands have been made permanent. This not only supports our clients’ wider workforce requirements but guides candidates into new opportunities and career pathways.
Speaking on what’s been achieved since going live with our first council in the West Midlands, Opus’ Managing Director, Brad Sinclair says: “Our first year working with WME and councils in the West Midlands through WMTemps has been great. There is a need to drive real change in the sector and councils are keen to find long term solutions that add value and help to build a sustainable future for the local government workforce. I’m excited to see what can be achieved as we continue to work with more councils to find collaborative solutions.”
WMTemps offers a unique approach that links a regional workforce strategy to a regional agency solution. This means that West Midlands councils can have a more in depth understanding of their agency service, have greater transparency over processes and fees, have access to meaningful data and wider service insights reports, and a master vend service solution that will deliver work ready candidates, streamlined and consistent processes for all councils, and a reduction in ‘manager time’ as a result.
For more information on the benefits WMTemps can provide your organisation, contact us today.