Without urgent action to attract young people, council services could grind to a halt, according to the Employers’ Organisation for Local Government (EO).
The warning follows research which reveals that only 8 per cent of local government workers are under 25, while a quarter of the workforce will retire within the next decade.
Findings from its recruitment and retention survey also found the majority of local councils find it hard to recruit social workers, occupational therapists, teachers, psychologists and environmental health officers.
These findings are reflected in problem areas such as trading standards, which needs to double the recruitment of newly qualified staff to keep up with natural wastage.
“A failure to recruit young people could lead to a breakdown in services as local government struggles to attract the recruits it needs,” said Martin Stein, senior consultant at the EO.
“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,” he said. “When raising awareness of the variety of local government career opportunities, we’ve got to get beyond bins.”