England & Wales Personal and organisational development

Public sector ‘Apprentice-style’ TV challenge


An ‘Apprentice-style’ TV challenge has been pitting “ten of the best brains of the public sector against each other as they compete for a career-boosting scholarship”.

Four contestants remain for the live final which will be streamed live from the LGA Annual Conference tomorrow night on Policy Review TV.

The finalists will try to impress a panel of “local government luminaries”. Taking Lord Sugar’s place on the panel is the Local Government Group’s own ‘boss’ John Ransford, Chief Executive of the LG Group.

The winner will walk away with the £10,000 Bruce-Lockhart Scholarship which was set up in memory of former Kent County Council leader and Local Government Association chairman Lord Bruce-Lockhart and aims to develop future council chief executives.

On the challenge so far, Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark said “As we tackle the country’s deficit every council needs to be more productive, effective and focused than ever before. These rising stars of public service have stepped up to the plate to be tested on the fundamental issues that councils face every single day – from improving efficiency while protecting frontline services to balancing budgets and transforming the local area.”

Working in two teams the candidates have been undertaking challenges that tackle key issues across a number of councils in England. You can ‘catch up’ with the episodes which are available online now at www.PolicyReview.tv/LGChallenge.

Previous challenges include:

  • Episode 1: To save taxpayers’ money, East Dorset and Christchurch Borough Councils share the services they deliver. Contestants are tasked with managing organisational change as the two councils work increasingly closer together.
  • Episode 2: Reflecting the ‘Big Society’ initiative, introduced in 2010 by David Cameron, the teams work with two community groups to reclaim two areas of Birmingham City Council-owned wasteland and turn them into community facilities.
  • Episode 3: The Department for Communities and Local Government challenges the contestants to find effective ways of addressing barriers stopping local communities from taking an active role in local decisions and service delivery.
  • Episode 4: Working with Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, contestants are asked to devise a strong marketing strategy for each station to make sure they are utilised in a better, more effective way.
  • Episode 5: Essex County Council and Kent County Council jointly host the last team task – the teams have to create a marketing proposal for the Thames Gateway over the 2012 Olympic Games. Contestants also get to propose linked opportunities for income generation.