A career pathway is a development plan for an employee to progress in their career. Employees on a career pathway are supported to develop their knowledge, skills, experience and potentially gain qualifications to progress in their career in a specific area.
Career Pathways have an entry level job description which will have a lower salary, and an end level job description which will have a higher salary. A development plan is set out which clearly shows the skills, experiences, knowledge and qualifications that are needed in order to progress through the grades until you reach the end level higher salary job description.
There are two different types of career pathways:
- Targeting entry level on the lower salary
- Targeting end level on the higher salary
Targeting Entry Level
This Career Pathway is specifically aimed at individuals who do not have the qualifications, experience and/or skills to step straight into the end level higher salary job description. Instead, the purpose of the career pathway is to target those who meet the entry level requirements and provide the support in order for them to reach the end level role.
Targeting End Level
This Career Pathway is usually used for more senior level roles in specialist areas, such as Surveyors and Architects. It is recognised that for some professions it can be difficult to find individuals with the specific qualifications and experience required. The aim is to recruit someone meeting the end level criteria and individuals meeting the high salary criteria will be prioritised. However, should there not be a suitable candidate meeting all the end level higher salary criteria, the career pathway provides a development plan for individuals meeting lower criteria.
If a vacancy is a Career Pathway, it will state this within the advert. You will notice as well that after the job description, there will be a table which shows the relevant criteria for each salary grade within the Pathway. If you are interested in applying, first read through the advert pack and see if it says it’s aimed at Entry Level, or End Level. Then, take a look at the criteria for each grade and see where you think you fit best.
Once you’re happy with where you feel you are currently within the Pathway, you can apply online in the same way you would for any other vacancy with the council. Make sure you clearly set out in the supporting statement of your application how you meet the criteria for the Grade you’re applying for.
For example, if a Career Pathway spans from Grade 2 to Grade 4 and you feel you are at the Grade 2 level, you would set out in your supporting statement how you meet all the criteria from the Grade 2 list.
If you would like to implement a Career Pathway, you should first determine whether there is a qualification that supports this development. We try and use Frameworks (previously called Apprenticeships) as much as we can, as they blend both academic knowledge and practical competence into the qualification. Below are links to the more commonly used Learning Providers the council uses:
A Career Pathway does not have to use a qualification, it is up to you as the manager to decide what experiences and development can be put in place to support progression. You can also visit the Employee Development page to find out about other learning opportunities offered by the council and partners that could support an employee’s development and progression.
Once you know if there's a qualification that could support the role’s development, we then need an Entry Level Job Description, and End Level Job Description and a Career Pathway that bridges the two together. These should be sent in to Human Resources, along with a Job Evaluation Request Form if either of the job descriptions are new.
For guidance and support on developing and managing a Career Pathway, please contact Human Resources.
Career Pathways: Guidance (PDF, 64KB)