Working in the Public Sector

Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2019 by Sarah ArnoldNo comments

Over 6 million people work in the sector; schools, councils and emergency services are the most widely known. The NHS is the largest employer with 1.4m employees.  But, there are also unique bodies set up for specific needs such as environment agencies.  

There’s a wide range of public sector roles available; not just the traditional roles that we naturally think of such as teachers, police and firefighters. Engineers, researchers and scientists are particularly valued. 


Public vs Private


So, what are the benefits?


Job Security

On the whole, there’s more job security than in the private sector.  The public sector is still relatively stable in comparison to profit-based companies which are exposed to closures and therefore redundancies. 

Making a difference

The role of the public service is to make a difference to the nation.  It’s about enhancing or securing our way of life and shaping society. So, it can be incredibly rewarding; you can make a living whilst making a difference to people’s lives. 


There’s transparency around salary.  This level of visibility is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it does mean that you can ensure you’re being renumerated fairly and there is a clear line of progression and pay grades. On the whole, in the private sector, employees have no visibility and have to rely on their employer’s integrity that pay is adequate and non-discriminating.  

Flexible Working

Whilst the private sector is slowly coming around to the idea of flexible working, Government organisations have recognised the different circumstances of their employees for some time.  Flexible hours are common and are usually based around shift work or core hours. Job sharing and part-time jobs are also available. If you currently work in public service and flexible hours aren't part of the culture then read our guide to requesting those better suited hours.

Preparing for later life

Final salary pensions or pensions based on average career earnings are also available in the public sector but are few and far between in the private sector.  Pensions vary between sector and profession, so it’s worth doing some homework.   


All in all, opportunities are wide and varied across the sector.  Check out our current roles. At the moment, we have a recruitment role in Civil Service HR, Ministry of Defence roles and a role with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency on 18.5 hours a week and many more….

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