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WORK LIFE - YOUR NEXT MOVE?

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Jon Hanlon looks at where the latest job opportunities are coming up. This week - Luton BC ...
Jon Hanlon looks at where the latest job opportunities are coming up. This week - Luton BC

Luton BC is looking for a director of social services and housing with responsibility for five key divisions - children's and family services, community care, private sector housing and resources and performance review.

Chief executive Darra Singh says the council is keen to respond to the government's green paper on children's services and now wants to recruit someone who can manage the reorganisation, ensure staff are motivated and that services continue to be delivered to the highest standards.

He says: 'We are looking for a corporate director who will build on the solid foundations we already have in place to deliver a better future for the people of Luton. We need someone with vision who will relish the major challenges ahead - particularly the changes in children's services and mental health following the government's new legislation.'

Mr Singh says the successful candidate will get the chance to work in a vibrant, cosmopolitan town which he says has 'a diverse and cohesive community'.

The town has 185,000 residents, representing more than 140 nationalities. Mr Singh says: 'This means Luton benefits from an unrivalled quality and variety of cultural opportunities'.

The town has Europe's biggest one-day carnival, an international film festival and the Hat Factory, which is Luton's innovative arts development and performance venue.

The council's industry and economy is changing rapidly, creating a range of new employment and business opportunities. Transport links are good. There are two motorway junctions for Luton, three national rail stations and an international airport.

The council was rated 'good' by the Audit Commission in the latest comprehensive performance assessment, and the Improvement & Development Agency describes Luton BC as good with the potential to be excellent.

The government's latest performance ratings give the council's social services department t wo stars out of three and says it is serving people well with promising prospects for improvement.

Housing landlord services also have a two-star rating with promising prospects for improvement, and the housing strategy is rated above average.

The council aims to transform the town by 2010 in partnership with local health services and the police, and the successful candidate would have the opportunity to work with a range of organisations to achieve these aims.

This includes making improvements in terms of levels of deprivation in Luton.

Facts and figures

Population 184,371

Males 92,186

Females 92,186

Aged 0 to 15 23.5%

Aged 16 to 74 71.5%

Aged 75 and over 5.1%

Born in UK 98.3%

Born in EU (inc Rep. of Ireland) 0.7%

Born elsewhere 1.1%

Average house price

Detached £210,131

Semi detached £138,256

Terraced £116,574

Flat/maisonette £84,894

Employment

Percentage of people aged 16-74 . . .

Employed (full and part-time) 59.6%

Unemployed 3.8%

Student (working) 9.2%

Retired 10.9%

Looking after home/family 7.6%

Permanently sick/disabled 4.6%

Other 4.2%

Health

People with limiting long-term illness 15.3%

People whose healthis good 69.6%

People whose health is fairly good 22.3%

People whose health is not good 8%

Qualifications

Percentage of people with

Degree or higher 15%

No qualifications 31.3%

Ethnic groups

White71.9%

Mixed race2.6%

Asian or Asian British 18.3%

Black or black British 6.3%

Other ethnic group0.9%

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