A NEW graduate scheme is being established at Edinburgh City Council to recruit top university leavers to local government professions.
Local authority chiefs will soon advertise the new posts with the aim of hiring the first trainees in October.
In a first for the authority, six positions will be available in the first year, although it is intended to eventually roll it out more widely if successful.
Chosen applicants will join the organisation’s 18,000 staff and spend two years in a variety of roles, which include working in the corporate projects office and business intelligence department.
Other secondments will include stints working in the council’s communications department, which deals with the press and social media.
Planning and research abilities would be relevant skills, local authority chiefs said, although they are recruiting from all disciplines so that candidates will have a broad range of skills and talents.
Demand for the posts is expected to be high at a time when the private sector is cutting back on recruitment schemes, in particular in the finance industry.
Candidates will need an upper second class degree to apply. Salaries will be in the region of £18,000 to £22,000 and the intention is to place staff in key posts in departments after their two-year stint.
The organisation already takes trainee solicitors but has not had a formal graduate recruitment process until now.
A number of the council’s senior posts have been filled by younger people recruited from the corporate world in recent years as part of a drive to breathe new life into the workforce. Alastair Maclean, director of corporate governance, said the posts would provide an exciting environment in which to develop important skills.
He said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for graduates and demonstrates the council’s commitment to providing opportunities for those leaving education.
“It follows the success of initiatives like the Edinburgh Guarantee, which the chief executive and others have promoted to provide invaluable training and experience of a work environment for young people throughout the city.”
He said that the experience would prepare many for job prospects further down the line, adding: “Successful applicants will gain valuable experience of a wide range of different services in the council. They will work in key areas like research, projects and service delivery, while developing skills that will boost future employment prospects.”
A separate scheme has already taken on 70 school leavers working as apprentices as part of the Edinburgh Guarantee, which aims to prevent pupils leaving school without having secured a job. Those recruits work in a range of roles, including building standards and planning.