Local government HR body Socpo has criticised the decision not to award the sector Sector Skills Council (SSC) status.
Socpo president Francesca Okosi predicted, in an exclusive interview, that it would prove detrimental to skills development in local government and add to its chronic staff shortages.
"There is an agenda being followed by the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) but it does not fit in with anyone's particular needs," she said.
It seems local authority staff will be split between six or more different SSCs after the SSDA, which grants council status on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills, told council representatives it is viewed as a series of professions and not just one.
"We cannot be put in to lots of different SSCs. It does not make much sense to us when there is this huge agenda for change and capacity-building," said Okosi.
"Without one SSC it will be difficult to manage and co-ordinate."
UK local government, one of the biggest employers in Europe with over a million staff, is suffering from service-crippling recruitment and retention problems and chronic skills shortages that Socpo feels would get worse if it fails to secure its own SSC.