As well as graduate and entry level opportunities across local authorities, the local government sector has a dedicated Graduate Development Programme – a Graduate Programme with a difference. 

This is a three-year structured graduate development programme that offers the chance to apply all that you have learned during your degree in specific areas in which local authorities require skills. 


The programme recruits graduates to work in one of the 31 local authorities for three years while completing a graduate development programme. You can choose which skills areas and which local authorities you are interested in. 

The Graduate Programme 

Secure a place on our Graduate Programme and you'll enjoy a host of benefits, including:

•    An annual salary of €34,919
•    A three-year development programme
•    Training and support with a dedicated mentor from day one
•    24 days annual leave (plus public holidays)
•    The potential for flexible and blended working 


Each person recruited for the Graduate Programme will receive a three-year fixed-term contract and will take part in a three-year structured graduate development programme that has been designed to meet the needs of graduate entrants to local government. 


We want to make sure you realise your full potential and get the most from the graduate programme. An integral part of the programme is investment in learning and development for participants, including accredited training.


So, as well as getting a wide range of on-the-job experience that will allow you to build knowledge, competencies and skills, each participant will be supported to achieve an industry-recognised qualification specific to their area of work. In addition, development and training will be provided through the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) to ensure that participants are supported and encouraged as they start and develop their careers.  


What roles are available? 

We are looking for graduates with qualifications in a range of skills areas.

Economic Enterprise and Business Development

Graduates in Economic Enterprise and Business Development will be involved in the important work of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). LEOs provide supports and advice to entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small business. In addition to the work of the LEOs, other business units within local authorities seek to deepen their economic and business development focus. You’ll play a big part in that and contribute to initiatives and programmes that support enterprise, economic development and job creation.  

Project and Programme Management

Graduates in the project and programme management will join multi-disciplinary project teams within a local authority. You could work on a variety of projects - anything from large scale capital investment infrastructure projects to business process change projects aimed at improving outputs and outcomes for the local population.

Innovation Strategy and Change Management

Graduates in the areas of innovation, strategy and change management will be placed with a project team that is tasked with examining and analysing existing business processes, identifying innovation opportunities and implementing organisational change. 

HR Management

Graduates in Human Resource Management or Human Resource Development can gain professional experience by becoming part of a local authority HR section. Here you will have experience working in a complex public sector organisation, gaining experience in HR procedures and processes, engaging with colleagues throughout the organisation. 

Communications and Marketing

Graduates in communications and marketing will work as part of a local authority communications team, getting varied experience in communications, marketing, and social media.  You will work with colleagues across the local authority on campaigns and initiatives to promote the local authority and its work to a variety of audiences.

Data Analytics and Data Metrics

Graduates in data analytics and data metrics will play a key role in helping their local authority to plan for the future. You will work with population, customer, service and other data, analysing and converting it into information to support decision making and evidence-based policy. 

Climate Action    

Graduates in the areas of climate action will gain hands-on experience of implementing climate action policies and contributing to the development of sustainable solutions for national, regional, and local climate issues. You will work in either one of the regional Climate Action Offices (CAROs) or the Climate Action Team within a local authority.

IT Skills

Graduates in IT will work as part of a local authority IT support team, ensuring staff have access to efficient ICT systems and hardware so that they can deliver services for the public more effectively. Here you will gain experience as part of an IT team, working to improve and modernise local government digital and ICT services. 


Graduates in cyber security will work as part of the local authority’s IT cyber security team and gain experience in improving the layers of protection to defend against cybercrime. Here you will work to develop new ways of using digital technology to aid with cyber security.

Community Development

Graduates in community development will gain experience in social and cultural development of areas and communities, promoting social inclusion and diversity. You will gain experience as part of the local authority’s community development section and liaising with other statutory and voluntary agencies.