Local Authority Graduate Programme - Economic Enterprise and Business Development

Economic Enterprise and Business Development Local Authorities have always played a key role in supporting local enterprise and helping small and medium enterprise to grow. This is in addition to the provision of various Local Authority services to non-domestic customers. The Government, in order to leverage the experiences of both the Local Authorities and the County & City Enterprise Boards formally (in April 2014) launched the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEO’s) in each Local Authority.

The LEO’s represent a transformation of the support for small enterprise across every county. Each LEO is tasked with developing a local plan for boosting enterprise. The ambition is to maximise entrepreneurship and job creation at local level. Key targets in the local plan will be new business start-ups, business expansions and jobs created or sustained as well as wider economic impacts such as exports, mentoring, training and enterprise promotion. The Local Authorities will also bring new initiatives and opportunities for supporting local enterprise. In addition to the work of the LEOs other business units within Local Authorities are seeking to deepen their economic and business development focus.

Graduates with qualifications in and a strong interest in Economic Enterprise and Business Development can expect to improve their competency by becoming involved in the important work of these business units in developing and deepening their business community facing focus in the coming years. Applicants interested in a position with a LEO should note that if assigned to a rural local authority they will need to be in a possession of full drivers license (with no endorsements) and be able to provide their own transport as work in rural LEOs may result in work related travel within the County. Local Authority staff who use their own transport in the course work related travel are reimbursed at the prescribed public sector rates for travel & subsistence expenses.

In order to be eligible applicants must,on or before the 31 December, 2018 have recently achieved a first or second class primary (2.2 minimum) honours degree (level 8 on the National Framework of  Qualifications).


Applicants must complete the standard application form provided by the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA). The form will require that all applicants provide the following information,

  • Name & contact details
  • Qualifications obtained and educational history
  • Details on previous employment history
  • Confirmation of which vacancies in 11 local authorities (up to a maximum of 5) you are applying for
  • A short text-based description of how you believe your qualification is relevant to the skills area(s) you are applying for?
  • Complete the signed declaration confirming that you haven’t availed of public service scheme or incentivised early retirement.

Once submitted applicants will be asked to undergo some or all of the following processes as part of the recruitment process,

  • shortlisting based on the relevance of your qualification to the skills area being applied for;
  • a competitive interview;
  • any other tests or exercises that may be deemed appropriate.

Candidates successful at the interview stage were to be placed on a panel(s) from which future vacancies may be filled.  The regional panels for each of the four skills areas will be active for 12 months with individual local authorities being able to fill any vacancies which arise post commencement up to a cut-off point of 9 months.

Closing date for applications: 26th October 2018 at 3pm

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting employers!