Limerick meeting hears staff recruitment is biggest challenge for State agencies

Dr Pamela Byrne, chairwoman of the Association of Chief Executives of State Agencies (ACESA).

THE chairwoman of the Association of Chief Executives of State Agencies (ACESA) has warned the biggest challenge facing the public services is recruiting and retaining staff.

Dr Pamela Byrne, who also heads the Food Safety Authority, said that 73 per cent of State agency chief executives who responded to an ACESA survey said that attracting staff in key areas is a significant barrier and retaining high performing staff” is also a major issue.

The didn’t elaborate on the reasons behind the problem.

More than 100 public service leaders are meeting in Limerick City this Thursday and Friday to learn how the public service sector can best meet its main challenges which also include climate change, and the economic and social outlook.

67 per cent of chief executives and public service leaders surveyed by ACESA said that their blended working policy – brought in during the Covid-19 pandemic – was working well, although 54 per cent reported some cohesion challenges.

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“State Agencies and the public services have faced numerous challenges over the past number of years, however they have proven their agility and resourcefulness, not least in the face of Covid-19 and their ongoing embrace of technology to enhance service delivery,” Dr Byrne added.

“Our research with the chief executives of State Agencies has identified both challenges and opportunities as we seek to enhance the delivery of public services between now and 2030.

“Greater collaboration and completing the digital transformation across State agencies could deliver tangible impact in the delivery of public services. At the same time, staffing remains a real and ongoing challenge for agencies”.