Posted tagged ‘frontline’

What future for graduates in local government?

May 24, 2011

A ticket to the corporate centre?

Last week we joined the discussion of the recently downsized National Graduate Development Programme and suggested that this was going to be the start of a big debate. Since then, Impower and Futuregov have dipped their toes in the water and today one of our readers gives her analysis of the scheme and emphasises the importance of looking beyond the corporate centre when developing, and attracting, talent in the future.

 If you would like to provide a guest post on this, or any other, topic please drop us a line at welovelocalgovernment@gmail.com but not before you’ve enjoyed this excellent post.

Like many across the sector, I was exasperated but not entirely surprised at the recent news that the National Graduate Development programme (NGDP) is to face major cutbacks. At a time when local authorities are implementing unprecedented public spending cuts now more than ever it is vital that the sector attracts the best possible future leaders.

Many might be asking themselves the question, in an era of cuts is attracting graduates into local government really a priority? Surely difficult choices have to be made?

No local government officer or policy maker would argue that cuts don’t need to be made; but every ‘difficult choice’ has wider ramifications that will impact upon the sector well into the future. Key stakeholders have emphasised the need to ‘avoid the road to nowhere’ and local government as a whole has now definitely reached a critical tipping point  where it must set out a vision of where it wants to be in 10 or even 20 years time. Surely, at the heart of this must be a carefully thought out strategic approach as to how the sector will attract, develop and retain the best talent in order to advance that vision?

The attraction of the NGDP was that it attracted that inflow of talent that supports local government’s drive to serve local communities in the best way it possibly can. And of course an immense sense of pride can be taken from the fact that through schemes such as the NGDP many high calibre graduates have entered and stayed in local government who in the past may have made other career choices.

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The axeman cometh

September 28, 2010

In a right old pickle?

Eric Pickles loves nothing better than to cut things. Be it road signs, Chief Executives, Audit Commissions or local government targets his instinct is to cut first and ask questions later. A reformer or incrementalist our Mr Pickles is not.

So it was not surprising to hear that his commitment to wielding the axe had yielded him a place on the Government’s Star Chamber.

For the uninitiated, a place on the star chamber is a sign of two things: 1) That the Minister in question is seen as capable of giving their colleagues a challenging time over the cuts that they are proposing (or not proposing). 2) That they have already come to an agreement with the treasury detailing how much they will trim from their budget and where it will come from.

The fact that Mr Pickles is amongst the first two Ministers to graduate from grilled to griller can only fill those of us in Local Government with dread.

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