Early careers at the council
It’s often hard for young people to get a foot in the door, let alone two feet on the career ladder. We’re working hard to change that. We’ve ripped up the old local authority rulebook and have started doing things you might not expect a council to do. Like apprenticeships, work placements, paid internships and graduate schemes. Because we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to start and develop a career – and build up their self-confidence and self-belief.
We want young people from different backgrounds to have the same access to the same career opportunities. For example, we’ve recently launched our Pathway to Employment initiative for disadvantaged and vulnerable young people. And we recognise the benefits – for everyone involved – of apprentice schemes and we’re encouraging every service area across the council, from schools to social work to libraries, to get on board. And they are, which is fantastic news.
Routes into the council for young people
We support an extensive graduate intake each year across a large number of service areas. Plus, sectors such as Planning and Transport offer a structured graduate programme for a handful of applicants each year. We’re also looking to start offering an innovative cross-organisation graduate scheme, where applicants will have the chance to work across various service areas as part of their two-year programme.
We currently have nearly 300 apprentices across the council, and we recognise the benefits our Apprentices bring – for everyone involved. We also believe in upskilling our current staff and encourage all to challenge themselves through a range of apprenticeships, from entry level to masters qualifications.
We offer a structured internship programme for post A-level or university students for anything from two months to a year. We pay our interns the national minimum wage (for their age) and they’re able to gain an impressive breadth of practical work experience within a service area.
In support of the newly released T Level qualification, we’re able to offer students from local colleges the opportunity to complete their industry placement across various service areas. These placements can last up to a year and will usually follow the pattern of two days’ work experience per week alongside three days’ study at college.
We offer a structured work experience week to students from local secondary schools every year. As well as this, a number of service areas within the council are starting to offer bespoke work experience weeks to students – from secondary schools right up to postgraduate.
The importance of encouraging new talent into the council
As well as giving our young people the work and career opportunities they deserve, we’re able to start building a pipeline of new talent. And succession planning is a key part of this. How do we make sure that that we have the leaders of tomorrow within our organisation? By growing them ourselves. We don’t just want young people to be able to start their career with us; we want them to grow and develop with us too, and become the directors and chief executives of the future.
So, how are we doing? Are we delivering on our promise? Go back to 2017 and we had a handful of apprentices working here in the council. Today, we have an impressive 283 of them across all our service areas and maintained schools. That shows you how committed we are to our young people’s futures.
Diversity and inclusion are hugely important to us, and to our people – and by opening new doors for our young people, we’ll continue to build a workforce that reflects the communities it serves.
Meet some of our team
Victoria Goscomb – Graduate Trainee in Property Services
I’ve had an immense amount of time invested in me. My colleagues have been absolutely fantastic at taking me under their wing and teaching me new skills. It feels to me as if everyone in the department has contributed to my development in some way.
Everyone’s encouraged to take advantage of benefits such as flexitime. In the future, I’m keen to get involved in the paid volunteering days that are offered.
Get in touch
We're always pleased to hear from talented people. So if you've got any questions about the opportunities that we have available in Apprentices and Graduates, or if there's anything else you'd like to know before you apply (or even during the application process), please get in touch with us.Email the team
Inside the council
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"The council is full of supportive colleagues who encourage you to try your best. I really enjoyed building close working relationships with colleagues across the council. They’re proud to be a Disability Confident Employer, and every colleague's skillset and background is valued."
"The council offer flexible working and really trust their colleagues to work from home. Management is supportive and avoids resorting to without micro-managing. There are opportunities to develop with managers keen to support your career progression."
"Despite funding cuts, the council are working hard to ensure these cuts don't affect its communities. The organisation are open to new ideas. There is a continuing change programme with plenty of opportunity to develop yourself and your career."
"Salaries aren't as high as private sector, but the great benefits package does make up for that. The council offer flexible working and lots of opportunity to build a long-term career in an ever changing government organisation. If you like the challenge of continuous change, this could be the place for you."
"If feel that my work for the council is hugely valuable. That I am supporting some incredibly important services. The organisation is forward-thinking in terms of ways of working, offering good technology and working-from-home benefits, all underpinned by an understanding management culture."
"The council is a good place to work if you want to work part time. You have access to ongoing learning. Management on the whole is good. Everyone works very hard, focused on doing something worthwhile and helping professionals, and keen to demonstrate that they are offering good value for money."
"Working for the council is challenging and stimulating. Social Care is difficult but rewarding when the quality of the service can be maintained. There is a genuine culture of reward for hard work. Social Care is a changing and evolving service, and the council has a dynamic reputation."
"The council is a great place to work with lots of room to progress. They provide lots of training and you’re always kept up to date with additional training. I’ve learned a lot in my time here and really enjoy the reasonability that I am given."