Careers - Local Government
Local government is responsible for a range of vital services for people and businesses in defined areas. Among them are well known functions such as social care, schools, housing, planning and waste collection, but also lesser known ones such as licensing, business support, registrar services and pest control. In England, more than one million people work in local government across a range of different types of authorities, providing more than 800 different services to local communities.
LG jobs, the local government jobs site from Jobsgopublic, is a useful link to use when searching for local government vacancies. There is a feature available to filter job searches, and you are also able to set up alerts to your email. LG jobs will (in most cases) direct you to the employing local authority’s website. Local authorities will also post vacancies directly to their webpages.
Methods of assessment and recruitment will vary from Council to Council. Many roles will require cover letters. Some will require CVs or an assessment to be completed prior to the interview. At interview stage, it is pivotal to understand the key challenges the local authority is facing in the current climate, as well as an understanding of key projects being undertaken to tackle these challenges. You must be prepared to show how your suitability to the person specification can enable you to thrive in the role advertised and tackle the challenges from a creative perspective.
The National Graduate Development Programme is a two-year programme which gives graduates the opportunity to experience 3-4 placements in a local authority. There is also a learning and development offer (Level 7 qualification in Leadership & Management). The scheme is managed centrally by the Local Government Association and more details can be found here. There is also a NGDP Muslim Network and NGDP BAME Network.
Finance the Future gives you the experience, knowledge and understanding you need to build a successful career in public finance. Joining a London borough on a secure, fixed-term contract, you’ll spend four years learning about every aspect of local authority finance. You will also be studying towards The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy’s Professional Accountancy Qualification (CIPFA PQ), which is the key qualification for anyone pursuing a career in public finance management.
For regeneration enthusiasts, if you have at least three years of relevant professional experience, you can apply to The Associate Programme. This is for aspiring mid-career level place making professionals.
In September 2020, the government introduced Kickstart, a six-month work placement for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit or at risk of long-term unemployment. The Government funded 100 per cent of the National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated on-costs. This programme has now closed, but we will update this space if similar opportunities reappear in the future.
Besides this, there are no nationally recognised internship programmes in local government. However, it is worth contacting your local authority to enquire about any voluntary/paid opportunities they may have to get involved in their projects.
The range of apprenticeships offered in local government include accounting, horticulture, arts and entertainment, business administration, catering and facilities services, construction, customer services, early years and education, emergency fire service operations, environmental conservation, health and safety, health and social care, heritage, housing, information services and technology, insurance, human resources, sport, recreation and communications.
To find out more about apprenticeship opportunities in local government, please refer to the local authority website directly.