Public Sector and Services School Leaver Jobs - Careers Guide

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Maybe you have no idea what you want to do for a career. Or maybe you know exactly what you want to do, but not sure where you want to work. If either applies to you, keep reading - your perfect job might be in the public sector.

The public sector is a huge area, covering services provided by the local and central government. It encompasses areas such as the civil service, NHS, teaching, the fire brigade, the police force and the armed forces. While there are specific roles in government departments that you may not find in other companies, there are also basic positions in finance, IT, marketing, human resources and more - so, it's really is open to everyone, from any background, and with any interests.

What’s it all about?TOP ^

Your local council incorporates a range of positions, from the people who tend parks to those who work in sports facilities. Public sector jobs are all about providing the public with the services required to keep our societies running.

You can also work in the civil service, meaning government departments like the Ministry of Defence and Department for Transport. You can enter the civil service with or without a uni degree. If you haven't got a degree, you can apply for junior staff member positions that assist people across all departments.

Jobs in the public sector may be subject to changing government policies, but it's generally a secure sector to work in. The variety of job roles you can have makes it appealing to a wide range of people with a variety of skills.

What will I earn? TOP ^

Because of the broad span of jobs in this sector, salaries vary greatly depending on the kind of job you're doing, and then the region of the country you’re working in. Police officers can earn £20,000-£30,000. Librarians make around £20,000-£25,000. Carers can earn from £12,000-£20,000, and a community development worker can make £20,000-£30,000.

Where can I work? TOP ^

The public sector covers many different jobs and industries, but generally any service provided by government comes under the public sector. You could therefore work in teaching, hospitals, local government or even the Armed Forces.

You don't need a degree work in the public sector, though you'll have the most career options if you've got at least five GCSEs at grade C or above (including Maths and English). Some jobs require NVQs, or will provide the training you'll need.

If you do plan to get a degree, check out the Civil Service Fast Stream programme (faststream.civilservice.gov.uk). This is a top-rated graduate training scheme that helps people develop their careers in the Civil Service.

What skills do I need in public sector and services? TOP ^

With a wide range of jobs in this sector, people can match their skills to the job that best fits them. You'll almost always be dealing with the public, so good people skills and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of others is very important. Most jobs in the public sector require a basic level of computer skills, too.

Some of the skills that public sector recruiters might look for are:

What entry level public sector and services job can I do? TOP ^

The public sector used to be one of the UK’s biggest employers of graduates and school leavers. The recent recession has cut job numbers, but recruitment is slowly growing again.

Some entry level public sector and services jobs include:

  • Civil Service administrator
  • Immigration officer
  • Political assistant
  • Trading standards officer
Browse all Public Sector and Services jobs for this guide