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MENTOR - JARGON BUSTER

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What is outplacement?...
What is outplacement?

In today's local government environment, the concept of having a job for life no longer exists.

The constant restructuring of services and balancing of budgets mean redundancy can be common among council officers.

To manage redundancy effectively, some councils employ outplacement agencies to help individuals in the transition to new employment. Services vary from intensive help for senior executives to broad-based support for frontline staff.

Henry Armstrong, director of outplacement and career transition at HR consultancy Chiumento, says: 'At one end we work with manufacturing staff and quite junior people. At the other, we are working with people with base salaries of£300,000 or more.

'At the top end, we offer a supportive service which will assist an individual until they are completely resettled and satisfied with their new career.

'For junior staff, we offer a reorientation service on how the job market has changed and how to sharpen up their CV.'

Redundancy is always difficult and outplacement services are attractive to councils because they cushion the blow. Redundancy impacts on everyone in the organisation.

If it is handled badly, there is a risk of damaging morale and potentially losing other key staff.

An outplacement service can create an environment in which the council is still seen to be a good employer, giving departing staff up to date information on how to approach their career transition.

There is also a better chance the remaining staff will view the organisation as a caring employer.

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