Local government in need of young recruits

Without urgent action to attract young people, council services could grind to a halt, the Employers’ Organisation for local government (EO) has warned.

The warning came after research revealed only 8 per cent of local government workers are under 25 years of age, while a quarter of the workforce will retire within the next decade.

Martin Stein, senior consultant at the EO, said: “A failure to recruit young people could lead to a break down in services as local government struggles to attract the recruits it needs.

“Many young people do not realise the range of work available in local government, and therefore do not think of it when choosing a career.”

To help boost recruitment, the EO is encouraging local councils to promote themselves as employers on Local Government Careers Day, being held tomorrow (October 20).

Key findings from the EO’s Recruitment and Retention Survey:

  • Almost 90 per cent of local councils find it hard to recruit children and family social workers
  • More than 70 per cent of councils experience recruitment problems with occupational therapists
  • Half the authorities have problems recruiting teachers and educational psychologists
  • Nearly half of councils find it hard to retain environmental health officers.

These findings are reflected in problem areas such as trading standards, which must double recruitment of newly-qualified staff to keep up with natural wastage.

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