Public Services Employment

Overall, however, local government has increasingly outsourced its services to private companies, and this means that there are less in-house opportunities for workers. For those in certain areas, such as administration, there are also less jobs available since modern technology has meant that fewer workers are needed. Technological advances in computing, for example, has meant that paper filing is no longer necessary in some departments, and this has reduced the number of clerical assistants needed, while email and online communications has meant that fewer telephonists and mail clerks need to be employed to cope with demand.

Aberdeen Town Hall

Public Services Employment Opportunities In The UK

Over 5 million people work in the UK’s public service sector, and that equates to almost a fifth of everyone in employment in the country today. These are pretty impressive figures, however the bad news is that public sector job opportunities are decreasing year on year. There are two main categories of public service job – central government, a sector which employs almost 3 million people, and local government, a sector which employs just over 2 million workers.

Which Areas Offer The Most Public Sector Jobs?

Some of the main options when working in the UK’s public sector include working in the National Health Service as a manger or administrator, or taking employment as a teacher or police officer. Administration is the largest category for public sector workers, with over 3 million people spread over public administrative duties, administrator roles in educational establishments and in healthcare organisations. Some of the administrative opportunities include general administrative work, specialist work in fields such as medical, educational and legal environments, and professional administration in PA roles.

Key Graduate Employers in the Public Sector

There are two main graduate employers in the UK’s public services: Local government and the Civil Service. There are numerous Civil Services public bodies, agencies and departments including the Foreign Office, the Diplomatic Service, HMRC, MI5, MI6 and HM Treasury among others. Meanwhile, local government roles encompass many areas of employment including housing, architecture, heritage, environment, communications, social services, trading standards, town planning and youth work. Some of the key public service employers include The Armed Forces, the BBC, the Bank of England, the British Museum, the FCA, the NHS, the National Probation Service and the ONS.

Benefits Of Working In The UK’s Public Sector

Public service sector organisations are usually large, giving workers the opportunity to access a number of interesting career paths, and the scope to progress up the career ladder can be good. Another attraction of the public sector is the varied workload which makes every day a little different, and although some jobs can be stressful, especially those which involve face to face contact with the public, they can be very rewarding. Public sector roles also offer other useful benefits, and while pay may sometimes be lower than that on offer from private employers, the other perks like flexi-time, holidays and pension schemes are very attractive. Those who care about the social value of their work will also enjoy working in the public sector, while there is often less of a cut-throat working environment which sometimes exists in very competitive private sector companies.

London Town Hall

Conditions In The Public Sector

Historically, the public sector has been seen as a secure and reliable source of employment, offering excellent pay and conditions to employees, although that somewhat changed during the ineffective Torries plans and execution. Unfortunately, these days, this is no longer the case. Workers in the public sector can expect a starting salary of round £14,000, although graduates can often expect to receive up to £25,000 per annum. Although the working conditions are still good, with excellent holidays and perks such as flexible working arrangements, job security is no longer as good as it used to be and many redundancies take place each year. Some roles have very strict entry requirements with regard to nationality, but for those who are eligible, there are sometimes excellent opportunities for work overseas, and also for professional development courses.

Key Public Sector Employment Issues

Although some people are still under the misapprehension that working in the UK’s public service sector is a lot more secure and financially lucrative than working for a private company, this is not necessarily true. Increasing numbers of jobs in this sector are now being offered solely on a temporary basis, or are now part time whereas they used to be full time before. The numbers of employees in public sector employment has fallen consistently over the last few years, and while it is till a key player in graduate recruitment, the opportunities are more limited than they used to be. That said, for graduates in certain subjects, the future looks positive, since there are skills shortages in several employment areas including social care, information technology, environmental health and trading standards, and these areas have seen a 12% boost in recruitment figures over recent years.


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