What future for young people in local government?

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2012 Local Government Service Group Conference
9 February 2012

Conference notes that a substantial proportion of the local government workforce is due to retire in the next 10 years, yet little is being done to encourage young people into the service. Cuts are leading to job losses and reducing the opportunities for young people to join the service.

Conference believes that the attacks on our pay, pensions, and conditions are also affecting young people’s attitudes to a career in public service. The alliance of the Con-Dem coalition and the media presents a determinedly negative take on public service as an expensive drain on our society, only serving to make public service seem an even more unattractive career choice.

There has been some excellent work by local authorities to support young people into local government service through apprenticeships, the focus of funding for delivering apprenticeships has shifted to the private sector. There are also reports that internships are now being encouraged and developed in local authorities, and that there is growing concern about the potential for workfare to impact on employment levels in the service.

Conference calls on the Local Government Service Group Executive to:

1)Demand that the employers address the issue of promoting local government as a positive career choice for young people;

2) Work with UNISON’s Organising Unit to support the development of workplace trade union organisation that ensures any attempts to erode jobs, pay, terms and conditions are effectively resisted.