Emily-Rae Making Her Way in Local Government

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A University of Worcester Social Welfare graduate is looking forward to tackling some of the biggest issues facing society after securing a Corporate Graduate post in local Government.

Emily-Rae Maxwell, who finished her studies at Worcester in May, has been appointed at Dacorum Borough Council after going through the National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) alongside completing her degree.

The NGDP is a management and leadership programme which works with local authorities throughout the UK, giving highly-skilled graduates the opportunity to oversee the completion of projects in different local departments over a two-year period.

For Emily-Rae, this will mean working to find solutions to some of modern society’s most pressing problems.

She explains: “My first placement is in Residential Services, where I have been asked to orchestrate a national pilot project exploring new approaches to meeting the needs of communities.

“For this, I will need to examine data and evidence, deciphering what the needs of the local areas are, then organise a weeks’ worth of events to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour, unemployment, obesity and child poverty.

“I will need to work with councillors, communities and public, private and voluntary organisations to help people live happy, independent and healthy lives.”

Emily-Rae says she has always wanted to work in the public sector, and she believes that the knowledge, enthusiasm and experience of her lecturers, as well as the tailored content of the Social Welfare course, have given her the confidence to pursue this career path.

“Because I started looking at career options early in my third year, not only could I use the knowledge I was gaining from my lectures, but the lecturers were also able to offer me help with the NGDP interview process.

“They sent me current issues to read up about for local government and gave me great tips on how to approach assessment centres.

“Also, the inclusion of a mandatory work experience module during my course meant I was more experienced than many other candidates applying. My work experience at Cambridgeshire County Council led to paid employment over the summer between my second and third year and played a significant part in my application for this scheme.

“During my third year, I completed a Leadership and Management module, and it was the inspirational guest speakers and supportive lecturers that helped me to realise that leadership was a strength of mine and that I could pursue my eventual ambition to become a Chief Executive within local government.”

Alongside her job at Dacorum Borough Council, Emily-Rae will also be funded by the NGDP to complete a postgraduate qualification, and she is keen to urge all students interested in a similar career path to consider the programme, which will begin accepting applications for this year in November.

“This scheme is allowing me to continue into higher education and further my career at the same time. It’s a great way of gaining experience in your chosen field whilst also obtaining a further qualification, and it is an option that I would encourage all students to look into.”

For more information on the NGDP, visit  

The University of Worcester is hosting two open events on October 31 and November 1. To find out more, or to book a place at either event, visit the Open Day pages.