PS: Public Sector's Local Heroes; MICHELLE McGINLEY, of Coatbridge, Has Been a Trainee Trading Standards Officer with Stirling Council for 18 Months. Here, the 22-Year-Old - Who Did a Three-Year Consumer Protection Degree at Glasgow Caledonian University - Reveals Why She Loves Fighting the Fraudsters and Uncovering Cheats in Pubs and Restaurants

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MICHELLE claims the best thing about her job is the variety.

She said: 'I'm on the move for at least half of my working week. might start off the morning on a garage forecourt, checking the fuel pump measures. Then might go to a pub to check prices are clearly displayed, legislation is being adhered to and measures are accurate.'

A lot of the time, Michelle deals with ordinary, honest folk - but she also has to face fraudsters.

She said: 'Some can get a bit upset, so it helps if you can stay calm in most situations. But when we're monitoring outdoor markets, we will always work in twos - often with the police.'

Michelle once even helped in a successful crackdown on counterfeiters, in which pounds 10million worth of fake goods such as DVDs were seized.

She said: 'The job involved house raids and found that exciting but scary at the same time.'

Working in Trading Standards offers many career opportunities such as an officer, team leader or even chief inspector of the department. Many supermarkets and product manufacturers also employ officers to protect product quality.

The salary scale varies between local authorities but a graduate trainee such as Michelle will earn between pounds 13,500 to pounds 17,000. …