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Workforce Matters

This website provides information and practical guidance on current and emerging workforce issues in our public services. These pages are managed by the Cabinet Office Public Service Workforce Team, which works with Government, employers and trade unions to deliver a shared ambition for excellent public services.

Public Services Forum: the first five years

The Cabinet Office has published a report of the first five years of the Public Services Forum (PSF). The PSF was formed in 2003 to improve dialogue between government, trade unions and public sevice employers, and it supports and encourages principles of partnership, workforce involvement and public service improvement.

Listening to the front line: capturing insight and learning lessons in policy making

The government has issued its response to the Sunningdale Institute's March 09 report on reconnecting policy making with front line professionals (see below). Listening to the front line sets out how the Cabinet Office and the policy profession will work with partners across government to develop tools and systems that will support departments to seek and make effective use of front line insight in the design and development of policy.

Reconnecting policy making with front-line public service professionals

The Cabinet Office has commissioned a study about how to achieve a vision for world class public services where policy making is grounded in front-line evidence and experience.  The independent report by the Sunningdale Institute sets out a number of recommendations for how to establish better ways of engaging with those working at the front-line when formulating and developing policies. This is important as it will ensure that Whitehall develops policies that are innovative, effective and relevant.

Public Services Forum Learning and Skills Task Group

The Learning and Skills Task Group of the Public Services Forum has published a report on learning and skills challenges and priorities in public services: 

The recommendations contained in this report were launched on 1 December by Tom Watson, the PSF Chair and Cabinet Office Parliamentary Secretary, at the Public Sector Skills Conference. 

In addition, the Task Group has undertaken a case study of the adult social care sector to test the effectiveness and practicalities of the above policy recommendations. By reality testing the policy recommendations, we hope to improve significantly the quality and practicality of the initiatives that will eventually be introduced across all public services. 

The Task Group was co-chaired by Frances O'Grady (TUC Deputy General Secretary) and David Amos (Director of Workforce, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust).

Joint Statement on Access to Skills, Trade Unions and Advice in Government Contracting

The Joint Statement on Access to Skills, Trade Unions and Advice in Government Contracting was launched by the Cabinet Office on 15 July 2008.

The Joint Statement aims to improve the quality of services delivered under Government contracts by raising the skills of service providers' employees and by helping to ensure fair treatment.

The Joint Statement Review Steering Group undertook a six month review of the implementation of that commitment and their final report and recommendations for increasing awareness and building capability for implementation of the Joint Statement is now available:


Drive for Change

Drive for Change is a simple, practical tool to help with change management. It aims to improve the delivery of public services through better staff engagement in the design and implementation of service improvements.

Drive for Change is a web-based toolkit for public service employers, trade unions and employees to use together to support closer dialogue and joint working to take forward change, or redesign of, services.

This initiative was developed jointly by the Cabinet Office and TUC and can be accessed through this link: Drive for Change [External website].