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Roles within the Government

Book open Reading time: 4 mins

If you want to contribute to the country’s political powerhouse, there are many possible avenues. We dive into roles within the government that you may want to consider.

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Big Ben roles within the government

The sector at a glance 

If you want to dedicate yourself to the nation’s general wellbeing, you have a job for life. The public sector is always scouting for socially-motivated graduates with the right skills to join their ranks, and improve the lives of millions of citizens across the UK. We vote for our leaders and, inherently, trust them to maintain the moving parts of government institutions. To do this, thousands of departmental workers strive to enact policy and procedures that enable the UK to function as it does. Despite being far from the political spotlight, they are vital for glueing successful strategies together, making top-drawer decisions a reality. 

These roles are closely knitted to everyday life. A career in government means you’ll be interacting with regular people under British rule. You’ll therefore be expected to impartially carry out political directives. The most populous route in this regard is a civil servant role, the bedrock of departmental activity. 

Countless civil servants make up the government’s workforce – they provide services, conduct research and bring resources together. There are also graduate positions available in regional government, helping councils do the very best for their communities. 

How do the public and private sectors differ? 

In essence, the goal of the private sector is to make money, whilst public service focuses on letting individuals and communities flourish. The corporate market creates its own framework through supply and demand, providing the goods or services that people choose to pay for. The public sector, by contrast, is maintained by taxation and national insurance contributions, serving the public’s greater interests.

In terms of seeking employment, these differences are tangible. Private sector roles function more for short-term profit. As such, they don’t enjoy the job security and clarity of purpose that civil servants and councillors enjoy. 

Government budgets are secure and planned in advance, chipping away at targets for years or even decades. Jobs in this sector will suit graduates who enjoy working on the bigger picture over a long period, with the same key goals in mind day after day. 

Read how much you can expect to earn in the Public Sector

Top graduate employers in this sector

Find out more about the leading graduate employers in Public Sector and Government.

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The types of roles available 

Although there are over 400 public bodies and ministerial departments in the UK, many strike similar notes when it comes to the roles they offer. Here are some of the most common:

Data Analyst: Governments need hard statistics to back their agendas, and data analysts collect in-depth information on a particular sector, topic or issue. 

Process Operator: Those who actively manage enquiries and processes concerning members of the public, such as security checks or providing evidence to finalise a decision. 

Administrative Assistant: Making sure reports and policy publications are in decent shape, as well as getting research results further up the hierarchy. 

Government Officer: The link between council members and their community, government officers oversee a council’s influence, which involves a lot of co-ordination, regular meetings and close attention to how an area is managed. 

Policy Advisor: The public sector is always hungering for bright young advisors on a range of key policy initiatives. Policy advisors bring their expertise to the table, aiming to identify what should be done in the future through research and analysis.  

Read 4 potential career paths in the public sector

Key skills you need for this sector

  1. Leadership
  2. Teamworking skills
  3. Verbal and written communication
  4. Time management 
  5. Commercial awareness - sign up to Bright Network's weekly commercial awareness update to stay in the loop.

Learn more about top skills and qualities you need for the public sector

Four interesting government facts 

  • Britain’s longest-serving councillor is Lloyd Wilce of the Labour Party, who’s been in office for 67 years. 
  • Part of the UK’s constitution forbids our ruling monarch from entering the Houses of Parliament.
  • The government’s Fast Stream programme encourages young people to rapidly gain civil service experience over a 1-4 year placement.  
  • Total government debt stands at almost 90% of current GDP. 
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