Local government job descriptions

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What is local government?

Local government affects all our lives. When you go to school, use the library or local swimming pool, have a game of football in the park or eat a takeaway meal, you are using services provided by your local council.


  • There are 467 local councils in the UK.
  • Local government employees work in over 600 occupations, which cover thousands of job titles.
  • Local government employs more than two million – making it one of the largest employers in the UK.
  • 6% of the workforce are under 25 yearsof age.
  • Local councils spend over £70 billion a year on serving the community.

What does local government do?

Local government has responsibility for a range of activities including emptying refuse bins, repairing roads and streets, encouraging companies to create new jobs, making sure that workplaces are safe and looking after vulnerable people in the community.

What types of jobs are available?

Many local government workers, like teachers, social workers and fitness instructors are actively involved in delivering services. A huge number of support staff, including clerical and administration workers, secretaries, human resource professionals and payroll staff, is also needed.

What are the benefits of working in local government?

Because of the range of jobs in local government there are many opportunities, spanning professional, technician, trade, clerical and administration areas, for developing your future career. Whether your interests lie in IT, marketing and public relations, gardening or cookery there is a local government career that could interest you.

What about flexible working?

There is a wide choice of working patterns. Flexible working hours, part-time work and jobshare are often available. Some jobs involve shift work or weekend working and there may be opportunities for overtime.

How about training and promotion?

Local authority employers are also committed to career development. Training is provided though a variety of long and shortterm internal and external courses. Many employees are encouraged to take relevant professional or vocational qualifications.

Promotion prospects are usually good. There is often a clearly defined career structure, and as you gain more experience and qualifications you can apply for more senior positions.

What about opportunities for work experience?

Most of the people interviewed in this book recommend some work experience with your local council. As well as helping you to find out whether you would enjoy the work, it will also help to demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment to potential employers.

Most local government departments are happy to offer work experience to school and college students. Phone or write to your local council detailing your skills and the areas that interest you.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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