Pilot initiative extended after surge in applications for local authority roles

A sharp spike in the number of applications for jobs with Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils has prompted the creation of a scheme to help guide people through the process of applying for local authority jobs.

The councils have joined forces to host a series of workshops that will aid applicants in their quest to work for the two organisations.

Pilot workshops held in November were oversubscribed and three further sessions scheduled for January are full and have waiting lists.

The popular events highlight employment opportunities as well as equipping participants with skills and knowledge to support them in the recruitment process – including an insight into interview preparation.

The workshops were launched following a wave of interest in jobs with the two councils. Aberdeen City Council has reported an increase of almost 119% in the number of job applications in the past 12-months and Aberdeenshire has had a 57% increase.

In 2015 Aberdeen City Council received 18,391 applications from 659 adverts, giving an average of almost 28 applications per advert - this has increased rapidly in 2016, with more than 40,000 applications received from the 1,000 adverts placed, giving an average of 40 applications per vacancy.

Aberdeenshire Council has handled 32,000 applications from the 2,459 adverts placed to date in 2016, giving an average of 13 applicants per vacancy, increasing from eight applicants per advert the previous year.

Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “The economic challenges facing the north-east during the downturn in the energy sector are clear and the employment landscape has changed significantly over the past two years, with the oil and gas industry contracting and the number of people seeking employment growing as a result.

“As a local authority we are committed to supporting the energy sector and see a long term future for that and a diverse range of other industries, with the potential for job creation at the heart of our Regional Economic Strategy.

“Aberdeen City Council also has an important role as a major employer in our own right and we take that responsibility seriously. Given the transformation that is taking place and the ambitions for the city, it is an attractive environment to work in with an opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of the people and to the fabric of the place.

“It is important that those interested in working with us have the best possible chance of success, and for many the career workshops represent a valuable opportunity to learn more about the process. The initial sessions were very successful and we look forward to hosting more in the year ahead.”

Councillor Alison Evison, Co-Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “Our recent successes in recruitment certainly demonstrate that partnership working has enormous benefits.

“There are many opportunities open to job-seekers within both local authorities, and it is reassuring to see how many people consider Aberdeenshire to be an employer of choice. I commend the recruitment team for the work they have done to promote Aberdeenshire Council and raise the profile of this organisation in the jobs market."