As opposed to local government, which provides regional services, central government is responsible for nationwide policy-making and implementation in almost all aspects of life. There are over half a million civil servants working in the various government departments.
Careers in central government
Central government spans a massive range of potential careers across the innumerable departments and Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs). The Civil Service jobs website lists vacancies from across the UK, including jobs with the Welsh and Scottish offices.
Of particular interest to graduates and PhD holders, though, is the Civil Service Fast Stream. The Fast stream nurtures the talent of recent graduates in order to take on greater responsibilities within central government. It involves taking on a number of positions within one department during an initial induction term. The Fast Stream is a very highly rated graduate employer.
The skills that most graduates posses that are valued by the Civil Service include:
- Analytical skills
- Ability to communicate research findings
- Ability to apply research to real-life situations
- In-depth knowledge of specific topics
Finding a job
Central Government has its own Civil Service jobs website which lists current vacancies. Registration is required in order to apply for jobs. The websites of specific departments and NDPBs should also be consulted when looking for a job.
The Civil Service Fast Stream programme is also worth considering as an entry route. The Fast Stream website provides application information and is open to graduates from any discipline. Job advertisements within central government aimed at highly-qualified candidates and current academics can also be found on jobs.ac.uk.
Benefits of working for central government
As with most jobs in the public sector, central government work usually offers some excellent perks, such as 25 days leave in addition to the 10.5 public holidays a year. Flexi-time and part-time work is also common in this sector, as is childcare assistance, among other benefits.
Central government is an indispensable part of society, so job stability is very high, and many people find the permanency of government work as being a major bonus in unstable times.
Government departments are responsible for many aspects of life in the UK. Working in the Civil Service can be a means of improving society in general. Many employees in this sector say that job satisfaction is high. For more information on this, please see our Public Sector article. You may also be interested in the article outlining roles in Local Government.