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Civil servants are vital for keeping the UK running. As of December 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics, there were 5.35 million public sector employees in the country. While this number includes teachers, nurses, doctors and police officers, there are a whole host of civil service roles to consider in local and national government, or working for public bodies.
Whether it is working for the NHS as an accountant (CPFA), HMRC as a tax official , or as a local council officer , public service roles can be highly varied and can allow you to make significant contributions to the running of the country. Civil Service positions can be stressful and highly challenging, as they can be high profile or involve working to strict deadlines on projects. They can also be very rewarding. Government roles can quite often be recruited on a fixed-term contract basis (e.g. for 6 months or 1 year).
Central Civil Service positions can include:
Accountancy & Internal Audit
IT & Data Management
Local government roles can cover:
Property & Planning
‘Corporate’ Services (e.g. Law, IT, Accountancy/Financial Planning)
Civil Service roles can broadly be split into either central government (Civil Service) or various layers of local government (from local council level to roles working for the Greater London Authority or Scottish Government). Alongside these there are various national bodies whose roles are counted among the public service (e.g. the BBC, Charity Commission, Office for National Statistics…).
Each organisation will have its own recruitment strategy and methods. For central government roles applications are handled via a central portal, there is also the Civil Service Fast Stream (a more selective accelerated graduate recruitment and training programme), while the Local Government Association has its own dedicated graduate recruitment programme.
All public service employers have implemented policies to ensure better representation of minority groups among their employees, and this is under constant review.