Inverclyde Council project wins national award

The local authority won the Best Workforce initiative category for its Workforce Refresh programme.

The programme, which began in November 2020, aimed to deal with the twin issues of an ageing workforce and low youth unemployment. It allowed council employees aged between 55 and 65 to access their pension early while offering those vacancies to young people in Inverclyde.


Inverclyde Council leader Stephen McCabe said: “This is a wonderful achievement and testament to all our hardworking officers at the council.

“Day in, day out officers at Inverclyde Council are doing their best to support the people of this area and I want to thank them for all their hard work.

“Our Workforce Refresh programme was innovative and well-received. It offered our older staff the chance to move on while giving young people the opportunity to start their career in local government.

“The wide variety of projects submitted to the ASPE Awards shows the innovation that we have here at Inverclyde Council and I am delighted we won Best Workforce Initiative.”


APSE Awards are open to local authorities from across the UK and seek to celebrate those councils who are achieving excellent results in a wide range of different service areas.

Inverclyde Council submitted six entries overall with the Refresh programme shortlisted for the Best Workforce initiative. The quality of Inverclyde Council’s entries was judged to be so high, the authority was shortlisted for Council of the Year.

In the Council of the Year category – which is selected by APSE judges rather than applied for - Inverclyde was up against Cambridge City Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Derby City Council, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and eventual winners, Wigan Council.

Mo Baines, APSE Chief Executive, said: “Across local government we have an army of unsung heroes going above and beyond to deliver for their local communities. The purpose of last night’s celebration was to recognise the very best in public services and to share that best practice with all.

“We received over 300 submissions for the awards this year, with each one demonstrating a clear commitment to the goals of continuous improvement and the delivery of excellence in public services.

“On behalf of everyone at APSE, I would like to congratulate each one of our incredible finalists – you are a credit to the communities you serve."

The APSE Awards are specific to frontline services provided by UK local authorities. This year, the Awards included 21 categories, covering the vast majority of local services, as well as the prestigious Overall Council of the Year in Service Delivery Award.

The awards ceremony took place at the Titanic Belfast.