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Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
Farmers and Welsh Government will come together today to plan for a healthy and vibrant agricultural industry.
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Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
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Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
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2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
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Recruitment Advertising Policy
1. Over the last few months, Assembly Members and members of the public have expressed concern at the way in which job opportunities in the Assembly are advertised. There has been criticism of the size, the multiplicity and the associated cost of job adverts. There have also been calls to use local as well as national newspapers. As I have explained in this chamber before Easter, these are matters for the Permanent Secretary. However, I am taking this opportunity to explain how posts are being advertised and how this responds to the concerns which have been expressed.
2. The National Assembly’s statutory duty is to secure that its business is conducted with due regard to the principle of equality of opportunity. This places on us an obligation to ensure that the National Assembly’s workforce better reflects the diversity of the communities it serves. The Committee on Equality of Opportunity has taken a particular interest in this, most notably through its commissioning of the “Lifting Every Voice” report on institutional racism written by Roger McKenzie. I know that there is widespread support for this among Assembly Members. It is important, therefore, that the approach adopted to advertising posts promotes diversity through fair and open competition.
3. Hand in hand with that we must ensure value for money. Newspaper advertising is expensive: advertisements in high circulation papers for individual jobs can cost a high proportion of the first year’s salary. We need, therefore, a policy, which ensures that our job vacancies are highly visible and that filling them represents good value for money.
4. Finally our recruitment advertising policy must also include use of best practice and modern channels of communication. Newspaper advertising alone is often not enough: we need to do more to reach out to communities and groups previously discouraged from applying to work for us. In parallel with this we need to use the Internet more so as to reduce cost to us and increase accessibility and ease of use for candidates.
5. To these ends the Personnel Division of the National Assembly has produced an advertising policy in consultation with the Trade Unions and equality organisations in Wales, notably Disability Wales. It has also evaluated the responses received to recent job advertisements in a wide range of media to confirm which provide the best response. In devising its policy it has sought to strike the appropriate balance between being informative, widely accessible and securing value for money.
6. The aim of that policy will be to move progressively to a more diversified approach to recruitment advertising, with much greater emphasis on an Internet based recruitment process. Reliance on specific advertisements in the newspapers will diminish and be replaced by much smaller references to job availability information through the Assembly’s web-site. This should ensure continued visibility at less cost, but also speed the process by giving candidates immediate access to all the information they need.
7. Elements of this improved approach – including access via the Internet to application forms – is already in place. The rest will be developed as we gain confidence that we can maintain the visibility and attractiveness of our job vacancies and also as we are satisfied that the new arrangements meet our commitments in equality.
8. Officials are also developing arrangements recently put in place to use local job centres to promote vacancies at the administrative support grades. Information drawing attention to these opportunities is placed in local newspapers in relevant geographical locations.
9. Personnel Division, working with the Equality Policy Unit, are also giving attention to improving awareness among under-represented groups of job opportunities in the Assembly, for instance through fliers for inclusion in community newsletters. [Sanjiv Vedi, the first member of the Assembly’s Senior Civil Service from an Asian background, is taking a particular lead here.]
10. It will be some time before we are ready and able to put in place all these new arrangements. In the meantime, our job advertising in newspapers will ensure that:-
- bilingual job advertisements are professionally presented and meet the best practice standards set by disability organisations in Wales;
- the newspapers and other media where jobs are advertised achieve wide readership and geographical coverage so that they attract sufficient quality applicants for each post to enable a meaningful choice to be made balanced against the costs involved;
- we follow the advice of Disability Wales on the format to be used to assist people with visual impairment;
- particular emphasis is given to the visibility of highly specialist or very senior posts.
11. This will mean that, for the time being, instead of individual jobs appearing in the newspapers virtually every week, most will now be advertised as part of a regular cycle, appearing usually once a month in a composite and bilingual format. The Presiding Office is making similar arrangements. Specific job adverts will appear from time to time outside this sequence for highly specialist or senior positions, but this is intended to be the exception.
12. Based on a review of readership, geographical coverage and the sources of applications for posts we shall continue to use the “Western Mail” (Thursday edition), “Golwg”, “Y Cymro” and the “Daily Post”. Other newspapers and journals will be used where the specialist nature of the vacancy makes that desirable. Officials will be in touch and will meet with newspaper editors who have been concerned at their papers not being used to explain our advertising policy, although, as I have said, we do use local newspapers where, in conjunction with job centres, it makes sense to do so. Members will understand that greatly expanding their use would also significantly increase costs.
13. You will see from this that the feedback received about the shortcoming of past approaches is being applied to improve the current arrangements. The long-term strategy is to use the Internet to attract and handle job applications, to use job centres linked, where appropriate, to local newspapers, to reach out to marginalised communities through direct contact and local networks and in the meantime to rationalise our use of newspapers to sustain visibility while achieving better value for money.
14. These arrangements will be kept under review.