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Let's move on with the times, NGDP

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Both Dominic (Campbell, director FutureGov) and I got our start in local government through the scheme and I also turned gamekeeper, becoming an assessor for the recruitment process and overseeing the new graduates in my local authority.

Even though we’ve moved on from public sector employment, our experiences on the scheme continue to help us in our work, particularly as Barnet LBC had enough confidence to give us a level of responsibility that most only achieve after 10 years of service. When we joined, local government was in the midst of a Gershon efficiency frenzy and PRINCE 2 project management, Best Value Reviews and restructures were all the rage.

But just as we’ve moved on, times have changed in local government. The sector is facing a deeper financial crisis than Gershon could have imagined and web technology has made a mockery of the hierarchical structures of government. What the sector needs now is not more managers but radical thinkers, designers, networked people and those with the temerity to question the rules.

Unfortunately the NGDP hasn’t really moved with the times - it’s still recruiting safe hands from safe universities in a safe way. While many of the people on the scheme challenge the status quo, they nonetheless do so within boundaries. I’m sure any grads reading this are up in arms already but they may be the exception. For a while now we’ve been thinking about what we’d do differently.

How would a networked, open, innovative, tech-enabled, social recruitment scheme for government work?

Carrie Bishop, FutureGov

Key numbers:

2002 - The national graduate development programme for local government (ngdp) by what is now Local Government Improvement and Development (LGID)

2 – years of the course

4 - key components to the ngdp: • National induction event • Placements and projects within a host local authority • Programme of learning and development • Support from a dedicated placement co-ordinator, mentors, managers and the network of ngdp trainees past and present

40-50 – number of graduates in the scheme each year

£500,000 – LGID annual subsidy

£22,958 - trainee’s salary

£2,000 – individual council’s contribution to recruitment and salary

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