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18th January, 2012

Business leaders from across the West of England have welcomed an bespoke guide for public sector staff moving into private employment at an event held in Bristol yesterday (Jan 17).

The CHOICES Guide, which includes the website, was compiled by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in conjunction with national recruitment experts Resource Solutions Group Plc (RSG) and Hays in response to more than 54,000 public sector job losses across the South West.

More than 60 people attended the breakfast briefing at Ashton Gate’s Premier Lounge, which included a presentation from Marlene Morley, Head of Change Management at the MOD.

Attendees at the event, which was hosted by BBC West Business Correspondent Dave Harvey, including representatives from HMRC, Job Centre Plus, VOSA, ACAS, BANES Council and Nationwide.

Around 5000 hardcopies of the guide will be distributed throughout public sector bodies in the region, along with 10,000 business cards which carry a QR code directing individuals directly to the CHOICES website.

The guide aims to sheds light on the valuable transferable skills available in the public sector and how employees can effectively showcase these skills through CVs and interviews.

It also offers advice on the choices available to them upon leaving public sector employment including starting up a business or freelancing.

Speakers at the event included Colin Skellett, Chair of the LEP; Marlene Morley, Head of Change Management at the MOD; and Andy Robling, Public Services Director at Hays.

Colin Skellett, Chair of the LEP, said: “Jobs in the public sector are set to decline at a rapid rate over the next few years. There are, however, a great many people in the public sector who have excellent transferable skills and would excel in the private sector.

“In June 2011,we established a Task and Finish Group which focussed on how to move from public to private sector employment. The result of this was the CHOICES guide. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in putting the guide together including Hays and RSG. This guide is one-of-its-kind in the UK and hope it will gain national recognition from other LEP’s and public sector bodies.”

Andy Robling, Public Services Director at Hays, added: “The fact that the public sector is driven by public service and the private sector is driven by profit can lead to misconceptions about the type of staff they employ. Whilst people may be motivated more by social responsibility than salary that does not mean they are any less talented.

“Over the last 20 years we have become a very mixed economy with a large amount of public sector services being outsourced or delivered by private businesses. The public sector has become more target-driven, employees are managing large budgets and projects, dealing with complex stakeholder relationships and necessarily have a great inside into the way the public sector does business. This is the type of experience and the sought-after, transferable skills that need to be highlighted to break down any misconceptions. This was the driver for the of the CHOICES guide.”

Highlighting what makes the CHOICES website guide unique in the UK, Andy added: “There are three things that makes the CHOICES website unique. Firstly, it offers up-to-date, live information on the local job market. Secondly, it focuses on the tools needed to move from the public to private sector including an exercise which ‘maps’ individuals’ transferable skills and, finally, the West of England LEP is the only one doing this.”

Mike Beesley, CEO at Bristol-based national organisation RSG, said: “This was the culmination of seven months’ work working closely with Business West and the newly formed LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) as well as leaders from the public & private sector to include the MOD, B&NES and Bristol Water.

“It is important and heartening to see that all those involved in the production of the guide and website are working together towards strengthen our economy in this region and we were delighted to have had the opportunity to have worked with the LEP and Hays in hosting this event today.”

A video link to Mark Prisk, Minister of Business and Enterprise, discussing the CHOICES guide was also presented to guests, click here to watch the video


About: West of England Local Enterprise Partnership

The Local Enterprise Partnerships is a business led public private partnership that provides the right environment for business success and economic growth with a particular focus on the key high-growth sectors of aerospace; creative industries; environmental industries; silicon and microelectronics, and tourism in the Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area.

The LEP Board is committed to promoting economic growth and prosperity in the West of England. It will play a key role in delivering 95,000 jobs in the area by 2030 and attracting at least £1billion of private sector investment over the next five years.

See for further information.

About: Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group
operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.
As at 30 June 2011, the Group employed 7,620 staff operating from 255 offices in 31 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2011:

• the Group reported net fees of £672 million and operating profit** of £114 million;
• the Group placed around 60,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 190,000 people into temporary assignments;
• 31% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 33% in Continental Europe &RoW (CERoW) and 36% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
• The temporary placement business represented 54% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 46% of net fees;
• Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the United Kingdom and the USA.

About: RSG

RSG is one of the largest providers of staffing and resourcing solutions in the UK. The company, which was established more than 35 year ago by Bristol-based entrepreneur Keith Dawe, has grown to be one of the country’s leading recruitment organisations, with a turnover of £140 million and 130 staff, mostly based in their Bristol office above Clifton Down Shopping Centre.

Its services include Recruitment Process Outsourcing & Managed Service, Permanent& Contract Contingency Recruitment, Search & Selection, Consultancy Services, Bespoke Recruitment Campaigns, Recruitment Advertising, Design and Media Buying and Contractor Management.
Longstanding clients include Zurich Financial Services, AXA, Nationwide and Lloyds Banking Group.