Up to 30 local authorities will be trialling an online secondment pilot this month in an attempt to limit the number of redundancies expected as a result of the government's austerity measures.
The Local Government Employers' scheme will use a service provided by StaffShare, which enables organisations to retain staff by creating an online marketplace for employers to exchange employee skills and costs.
The online service allows employers to search for skilled staff that are not currently being utilised in other organisations, who will then be taken on for a specified length of time.
It is hoped that this will provide a flexible alternative to redundancy, and limit the expected 330,000 nationwide public sector job losses by 2015.
"Local councils are under extraordinary pressure to cut their cost of operation, and looking for ways to help valued employees to move into new roles within the private and third sector is part of that strategy," said Jan Parkinson, managing director of Local Government Employers.
"Through its online skill exchange StaffShare provides an innovative and practical way to save skills and develop employee careers through secondment to any number of new employers, while significantly cutting costs," she added.
It is thought that employees are most likely to be seconded to the third sector or SMEs.
John Taylor, chief executive of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), welcomed the move.
"Unemployment in any form is damaging and wasteful. The impact on employees and the economy has long-term implications and the cycle of recruitment and redundancy is a practice that we should be trying to change," said Taylor.
"This provides a serious and interesting alternative to workplace management. We are totally supportive of this new venture."
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