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If you're in, joining or leaving the public service, a good source of all kinds of advice and help are the trade unions.  For a modest cost, you can access a lot of help - though you may need to be a member for 6 months before drawing on some services.
 
For example, Grade 7's and above in Civil Service Departments have the First Division Association (FDA) to call on.  The FDA is currently running pre-retirement courses that can benefit civil servants who are taking early or expected retirement.  Check out the FDA website and the contribution from them below the list of other unions.
 
Other unions include:
 
More from the FDA:
 
The FDA believes that in order to support members in a difficult time career development opportunities across the public sector must be made available as widely as possible. That would include the ability to consider roles within the public delivery area where provision comes from private and third sector intermediaries. This approach offers outcomes that both help to deliver for;

 o      the employer (delivering fundamental change)

o       those in FDA grades (career development) and;

o       the Nation (efficient public services supporting growth).

Managers in Partnership (MiP) is the FDAs partnership with UNISON in health and is keen to encourage development opportunities for senior mangers in health across the public sector. MiP has a large NHS footprint but does recruit in the private sector is content to take the widest view of the ‘sector of public delivery’.

FDA and MiP both have projects aimed at delivering partnership with the employer and other stakeholders (such as providers and Sector Skills Councils) around Learning and development. These projects are funded by the Union learning fund whose main driver in 2010-12 is ‘responding to the recession’. Whilst FDA and MiP have bespoke footprints both operate within the wider public sector with consequent
shared interests. 

Those interested in the work of FDA and/or MiP on professionalism and Skills should contact Neil Rider on neil@fda.org.uk