Council in call for more permanent employment

Cash spent on agency staff by Corby Council – a total of about £30,000 a month – is to go on permanent, full-time jobs.

In a move the authority hopes other employers in the town will follow, it is to recruit 10 new employees and offer one new apprenticeship each year for the next five.

The positions will include three senior technical posts, two administration staff, three multi-skilled trade positions, an electrician and a painter, as well as the five trade apprenticeships.

Council leader Tom Beattie said: “I would urge other employers to carry out a similar review of their budget for agency workers and consider whether there is a different way of doing things which will create secure employment and be more cost effective.”

The new scheme is the result of a review conducted by deputy leader of the council Mark Pengelly.

It revealed that the bill for agency staff employed by the council was rising.

He said: “It’s important to find secure employment for people.

“We hope by converting this agency spending into full-time employment opportunities it will be the start of helping to create much-needed full-time jobs in the town.

“We are asking all companies to look at converting long-term agency spending into full-time jobs.”

The move by Corby Council comes at a time when fears are growing over the security of jobs in the town after the announcements last month that Argos is shedding 440 core workers and in the region of 300 agency staff, Tata Steel is axing a further 110 staff and the Eddie Stobart depot is closing.

Solway Foods, in Godwin Road, Corby, has also revealed it may have to make workers redundant as it struggles in difficult market conditions.

Council leaders have vowed to do all they can to mitigate the jobs crisis and are to lobby the Government for Corby to be given Enterprise Zone status.

Cllr Beattie said: “Over a period of time agency staff were appointed to do work that needed to be carried out. We have focused on this spending on agency staff in the last year and it became clear that the money would be better spent on secure, full-time positions.

“The council is taking the lead on this and we would like other employers to follow.”

The new positions will be advertised in April.