Programme Manager - NGDP (Maternity cover)
Home-Based or London, Office Based

Vacancy Reference: SLOT-002961

Location: Home-Based or London, Office Based

Closing Date: 24/11/2023

Salary: £75,969 (incl. LW)

Employment Type: Fixed term or secondment considered, full-time

Department: Improvement Directorate, LGA

Hours Per Week: 35

**Fixed term until 31 December 2024**

About us

The Local Government Association (LGA) is the national membership body for local authorities. We work on behalf of our member councils to support, promote and improve local government.  

We are a politically led, cross-party organisation that works on behalf of councils to ensure local government has a strong, credible voice with national government. We influence and set the political agenda on the issues that matter to councils to help them deliver local solutions to national problems.  

We also provide councils with the tools and resources to respond to challenges present and emerging, and support improvement across the sector. 

About the role 

 Help shape the future of local government by leading our National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) team.  This is a fixed term or secondment opportunity to cover a period of maternity leave, until 31 December 2024.  The role has strategic responsibility for leading the successful NGDP as well as overseeing the expansion of the programme including through the new Pathways to Planning programme and NGDP Finance Stream.

About you 

We are looking for a committed Programme Manager to lead and manage the LGA’s flagship National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP).  It's an excitement time to join the NGDP, which continues to attract new talent to local government and works with councils to develop the future leaders of our sector.  In the last five years NGDP has grown from taking just over 100 graduates per year, to 270 in our most recent cohort.  We work with over 100 local government organisations such as councils and combined authorities to grow the pool of talent across the sector.  

You will be someone who relishes the challenges presented to them and has a solid track record of creative thinking and programme management.  In this role you will lead and manage a team who run all aspects of the NGDP, including recruitment, marketing and council engagement.  This role also involves line management of the Pathways to Planning graduate programme team and oversight of the new London-based offshoot, the NGDP Finance Stream. 

You will be responsible for the NGDP budget, working closely with the Head of Leadership to exercise discretion and judgement to ensure value for money. The NGDP team and the LGA as a whole are committed to increasing the diversity of local government, so that it is more representative of the communities it serves.  You will lead on ensuring that the NGDP’s processes, materials and programme content help us achieve our ambition to provide a diverse pipeline of talented future leaders for local government.  You will be committed to and have a strong track record of continuous improvement with respect to equality, diversity and inclusion. 

With a thorough understanding of the environment in which local and central government operate, you will be able to demonstrate that you can forge positive internal and external relationships with a range of stakeholders including chief executives, external partners and politicians to help grow NGDP and increase the councils that take part in the programme.   

You will have excellent organisational skills, the ability to deliver under pressure, be politically sensitive, and have the ability to exercise appropriate discretion and judgement on issues of significance and importance, particularly when dealing with politicians and officials. Team management skills are essential as you will be providing leadership to the graduate recruitment team, with direct line management responsibility for 6 team members.

You will also have strong analytical skills and experience of evaluating the impact of projects with a particular focus on continuous improvement and sharing of best practice. Happy to take the initiative and comfortable working as part of a team or alone, you will have developed your own collaborative working and leadership qualities.   

A background or experience in graduate recruitment is not essential, but you should be skilled at managing, overseeing and leading large-scale multi-stage programmes with a range of stakeholders.   

You must have the right to work in the UK, the LGA are unfortunately unable to offer sponsorship visas. Evidence for the right to work in the UK will be requested at the interview stage. 

To apply

If you would like to be considered for the role, please complete the online form and include a CV and supporting statement detailing how you meet the criteria of the role before the closing date. To help yo prepare your supporting statement, we have included the criteria from the person specification that will be used in shortlisting: 

  • Understanding of the key issues, priorities and pressures affecting local government including the policy and improvement agenda 
  • Demonstrable experience of leading successful projects/programmes  
  • Political sensitivity, and the ability to exercise appropriate discretion and judgement on issues of significance and importance, and when dealing with politicians and officials   
  • Proven credibility with politicians, senior managers, key stakeholders and staff
  • Excellent organisational skills and the ability to deliver under pressure, prioritising work against competing demands to meet deadlines
  • Strong influencing, negotiating and relation-building skills.  
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with ability to present complex ideas in a clear and comprehensible way   
  • Confident and resilient with excellent people skills, able to develop positive internal and external relationships; Strong team player able to build alliances and lead from within  
  • Good financial and resource management skills.  
  • Demonstrable skills in leadership of project teams consisting of a diverse range of participants with a variety of skills/backgrounds   

We use anonymous recruitment, which is the practice of hiding candidates’ identities. This process involves removing any identifying information from candidates’ applications which includes names. We are unable to remove candidate’s names from their CV’s. If you wish to remain anonymous, we ask that you take your name off your CV before submitting.

Closing Date:         5pm, Friday 24 November 2023
Interview Date:       Wednesday 6 December 2023, virtual

At the LGA we celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Our recruitment decisions are based on fair, open competition, with appointment on merit. The LGA are proud to be awarded a “Disability Confident Leader”.  If you are require  an reasonable adjustment, which is a change to the format or conditions of the recruitment process to accommodate any disability-related needs you may have. Please contact us via 

Our benefits

  • LGA annual leave entitlement is 29 days, rising to 31 days after three years’ service and to 33 days after five years’ service, plus all UK public holidays (pro rata for fixed term and part time contracts).*
  • Flexible & agile working – office-based staff are required to work in the LGA’s London office two days per week as a minimum, subject to business need and this may vary significantly between different roles and from week to week.
  • Future development – face-to-face and virtual courses are scheduled in line with developmental goals
  • The LGA offers 24/7 access to a free, confidential employee assistance programme managed by Health Assured. This service is also available for Dependants.
  • Family friendly policies

For more of LGA’s benefits and working with us, please view our webpage

Our values & behaviours 

    Our Values and Behaviours are there to give us an understanding of who we are as an organisation and who we want to be. They are a framework to help us understand:

    • how we work with each other 
    • how we work with our members and stakeholders
    • our expectations for ourselves and each other 

    Our values are:

    Inclusive - We ensure that our work is inclusive of all voices. 

    Ambitious - We are ambitious for councils and their communities and are committed to striving for excellence in all that we do to support our colleagues, our membership and the sector to deliver the best possible outcomes.

    Collaborative - We bring together the expertise and skills needed, working as one team.


    This vacancy is now closed. We are no longer accepting applications for this position.