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New to local authority working?

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Searching for a new job can feel like a leap in the dark. You probably have a good idea of the job title you're looking for, the locations that would make for a manageable commute, and a salary you can live with. But ask most people what they really love about their job, and it's more than just these things.

So, how do you land that role that offers the things it's harder to find in the job adverts: work that's rewarding, a culture where you feel comfortable, and an organisation with aims you can believe in? There is an area with a built-in sense of doing meaningful work, and that's the public sector. 

"Seeing the right thing being done is really rewarding! I relish my team's ability to confront situations and problems head-on and find solutions that are in the best interests of the wider community."- Rich, Planning Enforcement Team Manager

With a huge 5.4 million employees, public sector working is the first choice of around 20% of the UK workforce. Through working together, we reach even further. In B&NES alone, 2,100 staff work across a wide variety of partner organisations, such as the NHS, The CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group), Curo, Virgin Care, Sirona and Off the Record. If you've never worked in this sector before, these are a few of the things you're missing.

Making a difference

Local authorities exist to provide local services, and act in the public interest. When your work is orientated around quality of service rather than profit, there's much more opportunity to improve people's livelihood. Here at B&NES, we are a unitary authority, meaning that we deliver services from education to highways and traffic, waste collection to housing, ensuring local residents get the best value for their taxes. We are accountable to the public, and have made formal commitments to be transparent and fair. See our values to explore our promise in more detail. How many businesses can say that?


Enabling our people to be their best. It's why we're working at B&NES - but it's also how we work with our staff. As everything we do is driven by people's needs, it's no surprise our working culture reflects this. Flexible working is available throughout B&NES teams, where roles allow, meaning you can choose where, when and how you complete your work. This offers office-based staff a chance to use any of the four main council buildings across our region, to work remotely from home (or for most staff, a combination of both), shaping your working day around other commitments. It makes for an atmosphere of trust, mutual respect, and feeling valued as a person.

"I love the flexibility of how I work now. Choosing where to base myself each day really helps me to plan more effectively. I get to meet a range of new colleagues and to catch up with others I've known for years. The chance to work from home is great when I need peace and quiet to concentrate. It feels like a very grown up way to work." - Chantal, Organisational Development

Professional development

Local authorities recognise that our staff are our most important resource, and that building staff expertise leads to better public service. So we really invest in you, and a job with us offers plenty of scope for someone who's hungry to learn. Whatever stage your career is at, we have a huge range of in-work training opportunities, from professional skills to accredited qualifications, including aspiring manager and leadership development, from NVQ right up to Master's degree level. So a local authority is a perfect place to come if you're looking to upskill and develop. 

Collaboration is what we do, so skills like creativity, flexible thinking, and problem solving are high on our list of requirements for new employees. Great teamwork is a must, and if you have leadership potential, we'll certainly spot it. Just starting out? Our supportive work environment will give you the opportunity to learn from experts. Have this skill-set already, and we'll encourage you to mentor and coach others and take on more responsibility.

Salary and benefits package

Local authorities are well known for the excellent benefits on offer to staff. Why not find out more about our pension scheme, annual leave and employee benefits?  What may surprise you more is that many council jobs also come with very competitive salaries and generous benefits making up part of your total package. Unlike many private sector organisations, all roles are assessed and sit within clearly defined pay bands, to ensure fairness across different departments and teams. You'll always have a really clear idea of where you stand, and your prospects for pay progression.

All in all, working for a local authority presents an exciting challenge and demands top talent. You'll find a warm welcome, a collaborative culture, and get to work in a truly people-centred organisation. And at the end of the day, all of your hard work goes back into supporting the local community. What could be better than that?

If you're feeling inspired to find out more, why not meet our people and hear about their experiences of working with B&NES? Or you can check out the roles we're looking to fill today.

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