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An overview of the Resourcing Strategy to be developed over the next five years.

Strategic resourcing assists effective organisational management by identifying potential changes and implementing improvements in advance.

This ensures we can plan for the future and will manage the Service to meet the Public Safety Plan goals.

Resourcing strategy

Over the next five years we will develop and implement a Resourcing Strategy, enabling us to:

  • Prepare for change

It is vital that we can effectively plan for the future. We use a variety of means to expertly scan the horizon, looking for internal and external influences which will affect the way we work. This is a proactive and forward-thinking approach which allows us to target funds where they are most needed, invest in our staff and see obstacles before they arrive at our door.

  • New ways of working

We know from our proactive workforce planning data that, despite ongoing reductions in funding over the life of the Medium Term Financial Plan, we still need to refresh our workforce. Bringing new people into the Service will bring huge benefits for us and will ensure we continue to keep the right skills in the right place; keeping the people of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes safe.

  • Flexible working practices

We are now using a wide range of valuable data to support demand and risk-led people resourcing. This enables us to put the right resources in the right place at the right time. People may need to change the way they work a little in future and adapt to this change, but the Authority is mindful that flexibility goes both ways in a modern fire and rescue service, so wherever possible we are committed to flexibility that assists our employees too. As an emergency service with a positive attitude towards employee involvement, we can all work together to achieve this aim.

  • Alternative working

We will always do what we can to make appropriate, reasonable adjustments for employees who need them. This is part of optimising the contribution and wellbeing of our people.

For example, recent changes to the Firefighter Pension Regulations mean that Firefighters will be working for longer. We are committed to harnessing the skills of our older employees to support them as the profile of the Service changes. We will look for ways to adapt our working arrangements for employees wherever we can to support their futures and the future of the Service.

  • Collaboration and secondment

It makes sense to share excellent services where quality and efficiency are improved. We are therefore proactively looking for ways to share and achieve more with others in the future. This exciting opportunity to show our commitment to providing better value for money through collaboration and secondment opportunities sets us apart as a modern fire and rescue service.

  • Design the future

Longer term financial planning brings confidence and stability. In our Service we know that the outlook for funding will mean a reduction in our Government grant, however the majority of our funding is linked to local growth through council tax revenues. This means that for our Service our position is more stable than others. However, we still have to prepare for the reduction. This is why we have the Medium Term Financial Plan and are always looking for new ways to improve services.

  • Engage with workforce

Having an ageing operational workforce is an emerging concept for us, as traditionally Firefighters and officers have been financially tied to leave the Service after 30 years. The changes to the Firefighters Pension Regulations 2015 mean that Firefighters may work until they are older. We therefore need to adapt, ensuring we can harness the skills of an older generation of operational employees.

We also recognise that we need to refresh many areas of the Service and invest in the future by developing and engaging our younger employees. We are committed to the Government’s pledge to reducing numbers of young people who are not in education, employment or training and will look to engage with young people wherever we can.

  • Diversify services

The landscape of the fire and rescue services has changed considerably over recent years. We have experienced a dramatic fall in the number of incidents we attend. Amongst other factors, this is down to us being excellent at prevention. Our mantra of “prevention is better than cure” has been a huge success and we are now able to turn our hand to helping even more people, by providing more services to improve the lives and safety of those who live, work and travel in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.

  • Support equality and diversity

Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority are fully committed to equality and diversity. The Authority recognises that we must make fairness and inclusion fundamental to everything we do in order to achieve our aim of making Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes safer.

The Authority believes that a workforce who better reflects the diversity of the local working population will create a stronger, more enriched and well informed organisation, able to meet the expectations for a modern fire and rescue service.