Although this area of work is open to all graduates, a relevant degree/HND in the following subjects may increase your chances:
Degree discipline is less important than personal qualities and skills; an understanding of political structures and knowledge and experience of local government work are considered more important than subject studied.
Entry without a degree, HND or foundation degree is commonly possible, and indeed there are many opportunities to join local government at any level and work your way up to more senior roles. A pre-entry postgraduate qualification is not needed.
Local government is one of the largest graduate employers in the country, with graduates taken on by all councils in all service areas, and offers the ability to complete professional training while working.
In England and Wales, a graduate programme exists - National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) for local government. The NGDP recruits up to 80 trainees to join the programme each October, and candidates are placed with a host local authority and experience roles in a variety of work environments. The scheme runs for two years and applicants should possess (or have a predicted) 2:1.
Many local authorities also run their own in-house graduate or management training schemes, with management trainees sought in a number of disciplines across various departments. The programme will be flexible but will run for two to three years and will include work placements in a number of different departments and roles. Successful entrants to the programme may also be expected to undertake a postgraduate diploma in a specific discipline and the salary will be linked to time spent on the programme and further qualifications gained.
Such programmes have a high success rate with many trainees going on to hold senior positions within the authority. Competition can be fierce though, so pre-entry experience is at the very least desirable if not essential.
Entry qualifications vary for each local council/authority, although many will have minimum requirements for four or five GCSEs (A*-C) including English and maths, or equivalent. At whatever level, applicants with relevant work experience are often preferred.
Candidates will need to show evidence of the following:
Some local authorities take students on work experience placements, which can be a useful resource for anyone interested in a career in local government. This will help get an insight into the work of local councils/authorities, gain practical pre-entry experience and improve working knowledge. It will also help develop valuable transferable skills and provide relevant references.
This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.