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Solace Springboard

Solace Springboard

An Introduction to Springboard

As the leading members network for Local Government and public sector professionals, Solace is looking to identify the top, high-flying future leaders of the sector and offer them a career Springboard.

If you’re selected to participate in the next Springboard cohort, you’ll receive invitations to exclusive Solace events, have access to an external mentor, and will participate in a series of one-day workshops alongside other learning and development opportunities as they arise. And of course, you’ll also get complimentary Solace membership for the duration of the programme, giving you access to our leading network of public sector professionals.

In return, we are looking for people who will commit to maximising their time as part of our Springboard programme – taking charge of their own learning, seizing new opportunities and developing skills and experiences which will help them move on.


Why Springboard?

“ The Solace Springboard provides a once in a career opportunity to engage in a unique leadership development experience and catapult future leaders. The sessions with skilled facilitators cover a wide programme encouraging personal development, the growing of leadership skills alongside valuable networking opportunities  with local authority colleagues from across the U.K.

The  learning continues  outside the programme through a range of mediums including personal mentoring and with a diverse network of fellow aspiring leaders keen to learn and share experiences for the long term benefit  of the public sector.  I thoroughly recommend the programme and look forward to utilising and sharing my experiences at Lancashire County Council”.

Chris Dyson, Strategic Development Programme Manager, Lancashire County Council

“I would just like to say it has been a privilege to take part in the Springboard program. It provides opportunity to connect with like-minded people, ignite fresh thinking, share ideas and support one another. The quality of the program and speakers has been excellent throughout. I would highly recommend it!”

Kirsty Larkins, Case Team Manager, South Somerset District Council

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for enthusiastic, innovative managers who want to move into more senior roles in local government. Here are a few pointers to help you think about whether Springboard is right for you:

  • You will probably be employed at around ‘service manager’ or ‘head of service’ level, or the equivalent level for your council.
  • You may have recently acquired responsibility for colleagues outside of your immediate specialism, moved into a more corporate role, or be looking to broaden your understanding of the strategic challenges facing local government.
  • You will have the aspiration to progress into senior management within a few years, and eventually even become a leading local authority Chief Executive.
  • You’ll already have invested in developing your leadership and management capability, and will be looking to build on this.

What's involved?

The programme will involve workshops, 1-1 mentoring, invitations to Solace events and more, totalling around 12-15 days of work over the year.

At present we are unable to define they exact delivery methodology but will be aiming to provide a combination of virtual and face to face events.

The Details


We will offer you a complimenatry 12-month Solace membership along with invitations to all of our policy masterclasses. You will also have the opportunity to get involved in both the Solace Summit and the Annual Leadership Forum. These events offer a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with key sector leaders.


We will pair you up with an external mentor who is a Chief Executive or Director at an authority other than your own. They will meet with you regularly throughout the programme to offer support with career planning and development – offering impartial experience and advice about how you can move your career on to the next level.


We will run a series of workshops to help you think about and develop the skills you will need to be a local authority Chief Executive or Senior Officer. Speakers on previous programmes covered topics such as systems leadership and place-shaping, an introduction to local government finance, fostering innovation & the role of democratic accountability and challenge. We also invite a serving or recently retired Chief Executive along to each session to give a ‘Chatham House’ talk about their career, offer reflections and have a discussion with the group.


We are looking for ambitious and motivated people who will make the most of the programme and any other opportunities that may arise from your time on Springboard. Some of the most valuable experiences will come from the doors that the programme opens.

It’s important that your Chief Executive knows you are on the programme and that you have an organisational sponsor who will encourage you to build your profile within your council.

We may also invite you to support policy work on behalf of Solace where you have particular expertise. We will be on hand to help open doors, encourage you to be innovative and help you to use the programme to push your learning and development in the direction you want to take it.

How much will it cost me?

Successful Springboard applicants will be asked for a £250 + VAT contribution towards the programme.

How do I apply?

The application process for Springboard 2022 is now open.

We don’t have a complicated application form for you to complete. Instead, we’re asking you to send us a few things:

  1. A CV outlining your experience so far.
  2. A personal statement of no more than two A4 sides that tells us: why you want to be part of the next Springboard programme; why you feel this programme is appropriate for your development at this time; what you will bring to the group; and how the experience will benefit you.
  3. A testimonial from your organisation sponsor (Chief Executive or Director) endorsing your application.

Deadline for all applications is the 6th September 2022.

Click the button below, sign up or sign in. Navigate to more on the menu bar then click ‘Programme Applications’ to upload the documents listed above.

The programme will commence in Autumn 2022, keep an eye on this page and we’ll announce key dates for the programme soon.

Want to find out more?

If you have any further questions or would like to have a chat with one of the team about the programme, email

Springboard is kindly sponsored by


As part of the LGA’s Sector Led Improvement programme for the local government sector.