The purpose of local authorities is to provide services such as planning, housing, roads and traffic, libraries, fire, environmental health, leisure services and waste collection/disposal for the local population. There are 114 local authorities in Ireland. Of these, there are - 29 county councils - 5 city councils - 80 borough and town councils.
The Local Authorities are large employers. The sector offers entrants the opportunity to work nationwide, in a wide variety of roles.
The roles in local government are many and varied. Amongst these are architects, surveyors, engineers, housing officers, librarians, leisure centre staff, museum curators, fire-fighters, roles in environmental health and conservation, road maintenance, waste management and town and country planning and administrators. Many of those employed by local authorities have their own professional career paths, training for example as surveyors and architects, but some are trained by the employer.
Due to the range and diversity of jobs in local government, we recommend that you study the job descriptions of the positions of interest to you. This will help you reflect on the skills and attributes needed for the various positions and how you might match them or at least what you need to improve on to become a successful candidate. All roles in local government are suited to individuals with a strong sense of service to the public.
The terms of employment are good, offering pensions, flexible working conditions, which encourage a good work/life balance.
There are three streams in Local Government - administrative, professional and technical grades. Postgraduate study and/ or particular work experience may be required for entry to professional posts. Some professional routes can be entered at graduate level and there are often good training opportunities to advance. For administrative positions you may, however, need to start in a low level post and work your way up the career ladder.
The Public Appointments Service recruits for senior positions in the Local Authorities, such as County Manager, Director of Services and other senior professional and specialist posts. You should check vacancy pages on www.publicjobs.ie and log in to the website to sign up for job alerts. For all other vacancies, the best source of vacancies is on the individual local authority websites. If you know what local authority area you would like to work in, consider using the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government website www.environ.ie to find individual local authority websites. Keep an eye on the national, local press, local government magazines and specialist trade journals for job advertisements.
Try to get experience relevant to the area that you are interested in, even if it means working in a voluntary capacity. This will hone your skills. Authorities have temporary work opportunities from time to time. Use www.environ.ie to find contact details. Approach your local authority directly to enquire about opportunities to work shadow in the area that interests you.
There is a wide range of professional and technical positions in the Local Authorities.
Professional and Technical Positions in the Local Authorities include
Additional information can be obtained from the Local Authority website at: www.environ.ie
For jobs in this sector, search here;
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