Careers in Social Policy: Local authorities and local government

[Dr Stuart Lowe] It’s a problem-solving discipline and the aim is to improve the world and society that we live in. So for students who come here there are quite a few opportunities after that kind of training to go into work that’s connected to this big spectrum of issues. Some of my housing people go to work for housing associations, local authority departments, really hands on stuff working with tenants on estates. [Dr John Hudson] A couple of really exciting examples from the past few years is two people have actually gone on to become local councillors. One in the City of York and one in Leicestershire. They’ve been taking a lot of things that they’ve studied in the degree about particular social problems but also about how decisions have been made and they’re implementing them directly in their careers. I think both of them are actually people to watch for the future in terms of rising stars in local and maybe even national politics. Then we have other people who have gone on to the other side of that decision-making process, working behind the scenes, either advising politicians or as civil servants and policy researchers. Again, they’re using the same knowledge, but in more of a ‘back-stage’ role. So there are a lot of examples recently people have gone directly into that policy process trying to influence what’s going on in their local area, often in their home town, and trying to take that knowledge and apply it to the real world, which is really good.

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