The Minister was speaking whilst opening the Wales Public Service Workforce Forum (WPSWF) Development Day in Cardiff. He congratulated the Forum for bringing together in such a short time a social partnership agreement, which had not been developed in any other part of the UK.
Andrew Davies said:
We have a rich seam of ideas and initiatives, but now we need to translate these into practical outcomes that serve the aspirations of improving public services. The scope for increased policy dissemination and harmonisation, creation of a recruitment portal, harmonisation of pensions and research are all welcome developments.
The Minister pointed out that the Assembly Government public service delivery agenda was entering a critical phase as many of the policy programmes begin to take shape.
Mr Davies said:
The emergence of Local Service Boards shared service initiatives and collaborative efforts with information communication technologies, knowledge sharing, training etc will all require skilful leadership from the Forum, employers and Trade Unions in ensuring that the spirit of this agreement is fully applied. The linking of the reform of public services to the active engagement of the workforce is business critical. We need to get to a point where we not only use the right language when we talk about valuing the workforce but we actually do it.
Whilst the Welsh Assembly Government, through Public Service Management Wales (PSMW), has an important role to play in facilitating arrangements I urge the Forum to give particular attention to looking at what practical steps can be taken to find the mechanism to work in synergy so these aspirations come to fruition.
The Minister questioned the need for the 22 local authorities in Wales to each have different employment policies, and procedures and that more should be done to create common standards of employment within public services in Wales.
We are fortunate to have high level buy in and commitment both from Trade Unions and the employers which the Assembly Government places a high value on. We have a real opportunity in Wales to make ideas a reality. The Forum has made an impressive start but the momentum must continue if we are to meet our aspirations of delivering citizen centred world class public services.
Notes to editors:
The WPSWF was created as part of response to the ‘Making The Connections’ consultation and has already established itself as a key component of the Public Service reform programme in Wales. Its membership is drawn from employer representatives including the Welsh Assembly Government, WLGA, NHS, FE and HE employers and the AGSBs. The Wales TUC and RCN represent staff interests.
The Welsh Assembly Government, Wales TUC, Royal College of Nursing Wales, Welsh Local Government Association, the NHS Wales and others in the wider devolved public services in Wales, believe partnership is essential to effective delivery.
The creation of a Social Partnership Agreement for Public Services in Wales provides all stakeholders with an opportunity to contribute to the reform process and achieve progress by consent.
A social partnership can be defined as sets of common goals. Trust and shared understanding represents the cornerstone of such social partnerships.
11 September 2007