Graduates have voted local government the fifth most popular potential employer, in Grad Facts Survey 2002, released recently by the Guardian and Association of Graduate Recruiters. This shows a dramatic shift in attitude after a TMP survey last year revealed that many viewed the sector as dull and bureaucratic.
Much of the credit for this dramatic turn-around has been put down to the national graduate development programme set up by the Employers' Organisation for Local Government.
Tracy Nolan of the AGR said: "Despite being the biggest employer in the UK, and one of the largest recruiters of graduates, local government has never, to my knowledge, been cited in such a survey. To go straight in at No. 5 as an employer that graduates would most like to work for is a huge achievement. The national graduate development programme (NGDP) set up by the Employers' Organisation for Local Government has without doubt gone some way towards promoting the excellent opportunities that exist in local government today, and this has obviously been recognized by the class of 2002."
Brian Briscoe, Chief Executive of the Local Government Association also recognises the contribution the programme has made in this achievement: "This is really good news. Local government careers are challenging but deal with important issues and it's good to see that the ngdp has raised the profile of local government as a career for young people."
Recognising the need to recruit fresh new talent, the Employers' Organisation for local government launched the NGDP last year as the first and only initiative of its kind in our sector aimed at developing the managers of the future.
The NGDP plans to continue raising the profile of local government as an exciting career choice for graduates, and EO Director of Development Joan Munro is confident about the future: ”It is important for the future of local government that we attract the brightest and the best graduates. The survey shows we can achieve this through a co-ordinated approach. I hope many more authorities will sign up to be part of the next NGDP programme.”