Here is some useful information for candidates looking for roles in the public sector.
Public sector involves working for government
Firstly, what exactly does “public sector” mean? Working in the public sector essentially means working for a branch of government. This can be in a central or local capacity such as government departments like the Home Office and Department of Health, as well as the armed forces and emergency services.
Nurses, teachers, social workers and council officials are all public sector workers, so there is a very wide variety of the type of work available. Depending on the requirements of the job, working patterns may be 9-5 within an office, shift work, or require travel away from home.
The benefits of working within the public sector often include extensive on the job training and good pensions as well as flexible working hours. Departments are often large, offering plenty of development and promotion possibilities. Some branches of public service have experienced budgetary constraints over the last few years, but the sector is still viewed as highly attractive for many.
Roles vary widely
If a role in a large, busy organisation appeals, with plenty of career support and development, then the public sector is certainly worth a look. Roles vary, but employees will need to be able to work effectively within a team and have good communication skills whatever the job.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to choose whether to work in the private or public sector - this is often the case in accountancy and finance roles.
For graduates without experience in the public sector, it can be worth hunting out work experience schemes to gain a few weeks of relevant experience. There are a number of fast-track graduate programmes available, such as those within the Civil Service, including their Science and Engineering stream which offers training in multiple departments over four years.
Reach out for advice on transition
Transferring from private to public sector is perfectly possible, though recruitment processes in the latter are often more complex, requiring a supporting statement as well as a CV and covering letter and then often incorporating a day at a test centre. Don’t be afraid to ask a recruitment consultant’s advice on this - first time round it can be hard to adapt and with their help, candidates stand a much better chance of getting that perfect public sector role.