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How to become a Local Government

local government careers

What does a Local Government do?

Local government administrators, or administrative officers, are responsible for ensuring that appropriate services are delivered locally and that councillors’ decisions and government directives are implemented. They have the responsibility for planning and maintaining administrative systems and procedures. They may also support specialist staff such as lawyers, planners and social workers.

Administrators can work purely in a policy section, in planning and monitoring services, or in an operational department such as education or housing, where they are responsible for service delivery.

Tasks will vary according to the department and level of responsibility, but duties usually involve the following tasks:

  • preparing agendas and keeping minutes of meetings
  • writing reports and briefing papers
  • dealing with enquiries and giving advice
  • presenting information at meetings
  • supervising administrative tasks and managing clerical staff
  • keeping records
  • drawing up and managing contracts
  • liaising with other agencies
  • setting and monitoring budgets and putting together business plans.

What's the working environment like working as a Local Government?

Local government administrators usually work 35 to 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Part-time and flexi-time work may be available. Senior administrators are sometimes required to work additional hours. Occasional evening or weekend work may be necessary.

Administrators work in offices which are often open to the public. The job may involve visits to premises within the area served by the local authority.

What does it take to become a Local Government?

To be a local government administrator you should:

  • have good written and spoken communication skills
  • be able to deal with people from a wide variety of backgrounds
  • have the ability to explain complex and technical issues in simple terms
  • be good at negotiating and be diplomatic, courteous and discreet
  • have good organisational skills and a logical approach to solving problems
  • be accurate at record keeping and able to plan work with attention to detail
  • have the ability to analyse and interpret data from computerised systems
  • have a numerical aptitude - essential if working with statistics, invoices or budgets.

Local Government Career Opportunities

There are opportunities for administrators in nearly all departments in local government, from engineering, environmental health and housing, to education, tourism and public relations.

Local government bodies employ administrators in every part of the UK. Temporary posts are available.

Promotion prospects for local government administrators are good and it can be possible to progress all the way through management posts up to the role of chief executive. To rise to the higher management ranks it may be useful to gain a general management qualification, eg Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Those with the ICSA qualifications may find work as a chartered company secretary in a commercial environment. It may also be possible to move into other public sector areas, including the civil service or the voluntary sector.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Local Government that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

LG Careers
www.lgcareers.com

LG Jobs
www.lgjobs.com

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)
Rosebery House
9 Haymarket Terrace
Edinburgh
EH12 5XZ
Tel: 0131 474 9200
www.cosla.gov.uk

For further information on jobs available in Northern Ireland - contact your local district council.

Institute of Administrative Management (IAM)
Caroline House
55-57 High Holborn
London
WC1V 6DX
Tel: 020 7841 1100
www.instam.org

Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA)
Education Help Desk
16 Park Crescent
London
W1B 1AH
Tel: 020 7580 4741
www.icsa.org.uk

Facts and Stats:

  • The Ministry of Defence is British Industry''s largest single customer
  • Every year, civil servants are responsible for public spending of around £300bn
  • If every MP turned up at the chambers of the Hous
  • The Ministry of Defence is British Industry''s largest single customer
  • Every year, civil servants are responsible for public spending of around £300bn
  • If every MP turned up at the chambers of the House of Commons at the same time, there would not be enough seats for them all to sit down
  • e of Commons at the same time, there would not be enough seats for them all to sit down