Numbers on the local government graduate programme are set to rise next year despite significant budget cuts and major changes to the curriculum.
Places on the National Graduate Development Programme are expected to top 60, after 10 new councils signed up to the scheme in recent months.
The number of places has risen from the 47 in the 2011 intake, but remains well down on the 80 graduates in the 2010 cohort.
Halving of student numbers came after the LGA announced it was cutting its funding for the programme by almost 50% and terminating its long-standing association with Warwick University.
The LGA has since been engaged in consultation with the employers in the sector who are expected to recruit and employ the graduates.
It appointed Inlogov and Solace Enterprises to deliver a new curriculum based on a shorter series of residential courses.
But by February last year only 13 councils had signed up to the programme, down from 45 before the cuts were announced. There were concerns at the highest level of the LGA that financially constrained councils would be reluctant to fund a graduate placement.
The number of councils in the programme is now back up to 35, with a number of councils offering places for more than one graduate.
Pascoe Sawyers, the LGA’s principal leadership adviser, said 57 places had been confirmed but he was “confident that will be over 60” before long.