Workforce "Woefully Ill-Prepared" to Compete for Public Sector Jobs

The difficulties facing many of those wishing to take up job opportunities in the public sector have been highlighted by one of the UK’s leading recruiters. According to Hays Public Services, Britain’s workforce is “woefully ill-prepared” to compete for jobs in the public sector.

Hays believes that people looking for more job security by moving from the private sector are failing to recognise that they need to retrain or prepare for the different work ethos and pressures that they will face.

Mark Staniland, Managing Director of Hays Public Services and a specialist in public sector recruitment, says there is a perception that working in the public sector is less demanding and that jobseekers often underestimate the difficulties in getting into it.

 “It is clear to us that people underestimate how tough it can be to get into the public sector, how fierce the competition will be, and how many will be seeking work for which they are under trained. The truth is that jobseekers are going to have to fight and tooth and nail for limited vacancies

“The message we have to get across is that people simply must retrain in order to get ahead, not just wait and hope their private sector skills will magically transfer. Often they won’t,” he says.

Hays is campaigning to raise awareness of the need to retrain and be aware that public sector jobs make particular demands, from technical language to knowledge of different processes.

“Moving from one sector to another is extremely difficult in this climate and people need to research into different qualifications and training programmes.

“Teaching and nursing are good examples. For example, a secretary moving from the private sector would need specialist training to become a medical secretary in the NHS.

“An accountant will not necessarily need to retrain, but will certainly need to get up to speed with a variety of different legislations, statutory frameworks and accountancy systems.” 


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