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IMPROVED GRADUATE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME LAUNCHED

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The next phase of the national graduate development programme (ngdp) was launched at the Local Government Associati...
The next phase of the national graduate development programme (ngdp) was launched at the Local Government Association conference in Harrogate yesterday.

The ODPM launched the second year of the programme, which has received increased funding from the improvement fund to allow intake to double from 50 to 100 graduates per year until 2006.

Local government minister Phil Hope said: 'High calibre staff are essential for excellent public services. I am delighted the ngdp is promoting the public sector as an attractive career choice for graduates.'

The ngdp is about developing the senior managers of the future, although participating councils have also found the ngdp an invaluable resource in tackling immediate and short term work issues. National management trainees are involved in a wide range of challenging placements including assisting in the preparation and presentation of the case for the most appropriate unitary local authority structure for an area of England, in preparation of a local government review taking place and providing recommendations to an internal employee assistance group for meeting staff care responsibilities and needs.

Since the ngdp launched in early 2002, the image of local government as an exciting graduate career option has seen it named as one of the top five preferred employers.

Malcolm Craig, ngdp manager is optimistic that the programme will provide a significant boost to capacity, not only through the national management trainees but in attracting other capable people to the sector as a whole: 'We have made an excellent start in providing a joined up group of capable people who are adding real value in local authorities. The indications are that the next cohort will add to the quality and we are working on ways to fast-track the successful trainees and substantially increase the programmes impact by including options which address service line skill shortages'.

Notes

* There are currently 33 participant authorities with a f urther 37 joining in September 2003 and more due to join in March 2004. To find out more about the ngdp visit our website.

* This year's Guardian/AGR 'Gradfax' survey placed local government as the fifth most popular potential employer amongst the graduates surveyed.

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