Berkshire

West Berkshire Council 'struggling to recruit staff'

West Berkshire Council
Image caption West Berkshire Council said it was struggling to hire enough nurses and social workers

A council is struggling to hire nurses, social workers and bin collectors because of low wages and a lack of career progression, a report has revealed.

West Berkshire Council has also been unable to recruit occupational therapists and adult social care staff.

The details were revealed in a report released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The council said it was working to tackle the issues.

The vacancies for the posts have been repeatedly advertised, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

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In the report, HR officer Stefanie Watts said council-run care homes were struggling to recruit care assistants and registered general nurses.

She said occupational therapists were another difficult area "in part due to government rules on immigration, which has removed the role from a list of roles there is a shortage of".

She said parking wardens had also been difficult to recruit and retain, due to the "stigma attached to the role", low pay and career progression.

There is also a high turnover in bin collectors - with six resigning in the last financial year, the report published in August said.

It added it is advertising through social media, hiring more apprentices and improving the council's recruitment website.

In a statement, HR manager Abigail Witting said the council was tackling the problems with "proactive campaigns" to attract staff and the waste services team currently has no vacancies.

It said it is working hard to not only recruit but retain social workers.

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