Bright young things
It is not a secret to say that things are tough in the world of Local Government right now. Jobs are being lost and senior managers and being forced to make the sort of tough decisions that they’ve possibly (and bearing in mind how long it is since there’s been big cuts, probably) never been asked to make before.
Sometimes this moment of challenge can lead to great innovation but often it can lead to really bad decisions being made.
A case in point are graduates on local government’s fast track graduate scheme the NGDP. This scheme is meant to mimic the Civil Service Fast Stream and bring in a steady stream of hyper intelligent and uber-competent staff to ensure Local Government’s ongoing success. I have seen graduates in the various local authorities I have worked and in general they have lived up to their reputation and have gone on to get good jobs and have good careers.
This year’s intake are in an awkward spot; after all there is next to no recruitment going on and therefore apparently many of them don’t yet have permanent jobs for when the scheme closes in September (i.e. next month). What’s more, many authorities (this is based on anecdotal evidence so no stats here) are treating the departing graduates as fixed term contracts and therefore are willing to let them go without even placing them on the internal redeployment register. As most jobs are now internal candidates only this makes it almost impossible to keep these staff.
This is ludicrous: Yes, cuts need to be made but managers and authorities have invested in training up these staff. In general they will be bright, hard working and what’s more on the upward curve; invest right and they will be driving your authority forward in ten years time. Letting them go is the equivalent of sending Jack Wilshire to Bolton permanently as Arsene Wenger needs to get his squad size down… In other words; crazy
Authorities need to focus on the long term and investing in high quality, ambitious (cheap) young staff is preferable to saving a bit of case by not making 20 year – lifers take redundancy.
The impending crunch is a time for forward thinking managers and if we’re going to need to do more with much less then building a high performing workforce for the future has to be a number one priority and not an afterthought.
I hope that the graduates find employment sooner rather than later.