School leavers are rejecting careers in local government because they see
them as dull, bureaucratic and hard to get into.
Research by communications company Riley HR Gardens also shows that young
people thought local authority jobs would not challenge their initiative and
that skills gained would not be transferable to the private sector.
The survey asked more than 100 first jobbers and school leavers whether they
would like to work within the local authority sector – two-thirds of school
leavers ranked local government jobs as 1 or 2, with 1 being ‘not at all’ and 5
being ‘very much’.
The findings show that councils must work harder to engage youth. Only 14
per cent of school leavers had discussed local government with careers
advisers, but, of those who had, 80 per cent expressed an increased interest in
The failure to attract school leavers is in marked contrast with graduates,
who find local government the fifth most attractive employer in Britain,
according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters’ Gradfacts survey.
Andreas Ghosh, chairman of the Society of Personnel Officers’ recruitment
and retention working group, said that local authorities needed to promote
those jobs that would appeal to young applicants.
"The perception of working in local government is often influenced by
an image that most of the jobs are working in ‘the town hall’," he said.
"In fact, most are jobs that interact with local communities such as
teachers and working with the environment."