Are you interested in politics and current affairs?
Do you want to make a change in your community and on a wider scale?
Then a career in the Public Sector, Politics and Development could be the right option for you!
Professionals working in this sector are striving to improve the lives of their citizens and possibly change national and international policy. Every aspect of their jobs, in some ways, is directly connected to a government policy or law.
There are plenty of opportunities in this sector ranging from becoming a politician or government official to leading development projects and dealing with community issues.
This sector can be divided in the following three key job areas:
1) Elected Representative
Within all the national governments and majority of international organisations sit elected representatives who are chosen by their people to represent them in government.
In the UK they are based in Westminster (MPs) and there are also elected representatives from many different countries in the European Union Parliament (MEPs).
This role is a respected position within politics with many politicians working towards becoming elected representatives one day. It is is obviously something which an individual has to work very hard for and involves numerous areas of governance ranging from taxation and economics to health and transport.
2) Policy Officers and Advisers
Policy Officers and Advisers tend to be based in large international organisations such as the United Nations and the European Union and offer specialist advice to an elected representative or nations who are currently working on up and coming policy.
They are normally specialists (often with a PhD) in a particular area.
Policy Officers and Advisers may also work for national elected representatives such as an MP, however, the issues they support are likely to be smaller cases, such as transport or health as many of the large national laws have already been developed and established.
3) Administrative and Research Support
Elected representatives often have large administrative and research systems based in either Westminster or their constituency office, in many cases they are responsible for the running of the office including organising meetings and responding to emails, phone calls and letters.
Research support is often based on working on campaigns or elections to ensure that the elected representative has all the relevant and up-to-date information they require.
For entry-level positions, trainee and apprenticeships a candidate is expected to have 5 GCSEs A*-C.
Should a candidate wish to enter the sector at a higher level, such as a graduate scheme, they will be expected to obtain a degree at 2:2 or above. A degree in Politics, International Relations, Public Relations or Economics would support a strong application.
Note: Even though employers do not request a specific discipline, they will expect the candidates to have an active interest in politics and are increasingly looking for relevant work experience; whether that is achieved through a part-time job, a sandwich placement year or even summer internships.
Depending on what area of this sector an individual will chose to work for, will depend on their pay. A breakdown of the pay is as follows:
Note: An individual’s salary may change based on location with many receiving the London living wage.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
This sector has been hit hard by recent cuts introduced by the UK government to save money and improve efficiency in the public sector.
According to UNISON, the public service union, the government plans to slash grants to councils by a total of £11.3 billion by 2015/16 with devastating effect on councils and their operations.
It is estimated that more than 500,000 council workers have lost their jobs since 2010.
The future looks uncertain for employment in the public sector and securing a long-term job in the current climate has become even difficult than before.