- Different areas of the public sector, charity, teaching and social enterprise sector
- Typical roles in public sector, charity, teaching and social enterprise
- Skills and qualifications
- Key employers
- The application process
- Public sector, charity, teaching and social enterprise sector graduate jobs and schemes
- More information
Are you a people person? Do you enjoy talking to the public and helping people? If you want a career with an alturistic side, working in the public sector, charity, teaching and social enterprise sector could be ideal for you.
If this has caught your interest, explore the charity and social enterprise jobs available now.
This sector has three main subsections that you could get involved with depending on your experience and interests.
Public sector and government
The public sector is responsible for running the country with varying scales of responsibility. You could decide to work for a local council and have influence over your local area or work for the civil service and specialise in a particular type of policy that could have an impact on every person in the country.
Education and teaching
Teaching jobs extend from young children’s first experience of school to retraining adults. You provide your students with all their educational needs whether this is teaching in a school, providing additional skills like driving lessons or even vocational work like teaching adults to teach. Teaching work is often separated into the different levels from primary to secondary to higher education with tutoring and teaching of additional skills occurring at any point along the way. You could decide to work in the public sector for example for a comprehensive school or in the private sector for example in a paying school, at a university or as a private tutor.
Charity and social enterprise
If you want to change the world or make a big impact, charity or social enterprise could be for you. Charities are not for profit organisations with the sole purpose of helping a cause. This is anything from improving the lives of people in other countries to preventing damage to old buildings. A social enterprise is a business that intends to assist people and charities whilst making a profit. For example, donating some of the products that a company makes to people who need help or planting trees based on product sales.
Learn about the seven types of roles within the charity sector.
Since the sector is so wide, there are a huge number of jobs that might interest you. Here are some roles in the public sector, charity, teaching and social enterprise sector that you can learn more about:
As a fundraiser, you’re employed by a charity to raise money. The money you earn is put towards the objectives of the charity or for the core costs of the charity. In this role, you come up with ideas for charity events, organise these events and promote the cause to raise money and awareness for the charity. Your job is being a cheerleader for the charity. A passion for the cause and having a personal interest in it helps you persuade the public to part with their time and money.
If this has sparked your interest, learn about how to get into charity work.
As a youth worker, you’re brought in to help young people going through difficult circumstances. You might organise activities in a local area for children to attend, encouraging them to socialise and have fun in a healthy way. Your job could include working on a one-to-one basis with some young people, helping them through difficult times and teaching them to make positive decisions.
Higher Education Lecturer
Higher education is education that adults enter after secondary school. This includes university and college settings. As a lecturer, you’re an expert in your subject. You teach adults about the intricacies of the subject, following a curriculum that you set or have influence over. Part of this job includes setting and marking assignments, exams and other types of coursework that determine whether a student passes the course or not. In a university, you typically do your own research projects alongside lecturing.
As a teacher, you’re responsible for following a curriculum to teach children the necessary skills and knowledge that they need to succeed in their future careers. Teaching is often separated into primary and secondary education. As a primary teacher, you specialise in an age group that you enjoy teaching and teach the children all the relevant subjects throughout the year. As a secondary teacher, you work with one subject, changing year groups throughout the working day.
The civil service has a huge range of job opportunities available. You make policy decisions that impact the country based on research to indicate what is best for the country. In the civil service, you can apply for the fast stream programme in which you learn the basics of civil service work, switching between departments until you reach the end of the programme where you either pass or fail. If you pass, you have a civil service job waiting for you.
As a policy officer, you look into your country’s policies, determine if they’re appropriate for modern society and if they still serve the public well, conduct research into the impact of the policy and provide new policy initiatives if change is needed. If working for a local government, you make policy decisions for the local area.
When working as an educational psychologist, you provide support to children and young adults within an educational setting. The work is intended to help children and young adults with their education by helping them deal with issues that could hold them back. In a more theoretical role, you research how children learn, exploring the best methods for information retention.
Family Support Officer
As a family support officer, you support families who are dealing with difficult circumstances. This could be helping a family through grief, debt or any other personal and social issues. In the role, you give relevant and insightful advice to help with the situation that they’re facing.
- Communication. Most jobs in the sector require you to have great communication skills. Fundraisers need to speak to the public to encourage donations which requires being eloquent. Youth workers and family support officers give support and advice to people facing difficulties. Having great communication skills helps you get your point across to the people you’re helping without confusion. Teachers and higher education lecturers need to communicate well throughout the entire working day. If they can’t vocalise their thoughts well then teaching children and adults is difficult because they might not understand what you’re trying to teach them.
- Altruistic. Being altruistic is important for lots of jobs in the sector. When working for a social enterprise or charity, you need to be dedicated to the cause and want to help others. When working in teaching, regardless of the level, you need to be passionate about teaching children or adults. As a family support officer or youth worker, you provide help to people who really need it and doing your job well requires you to want to help.
If you’re interested in working in the sector, learn about the 8 skills and qualities you need to excel in the charity sector.
Having the right qualifications helps you get into your dream job in the public sector, charity, teaching and social enterprise sector. Some of these jobs require higher education. For teaching jobs in primary and secondary school, you need either a teaching degree or an undergraduate degree in your chosen subject with a PGCE which is a training course that gives you all the skills you need to go into teaching. You can learn more about your options for teacher training with UCAS.
Learn more about getting into Teaching with this Bright Network Academy Teaching Sector 101 led by Ark Teacher Training.
Civil service and policy officer jobs also require undergraduate level education. The Civil Service Fast Stream is available to graduates with any undergraduate degree. Working as a policy officer often requires understanding and analysing data. Having a degree in a subject that teaches you to analyse data like statistics or data analytics can be useful but isn’t necessary for getting into the job. Having an interest in politics or a politics degree is useful for policy officer jobs.
Other roles in the sector require PhD level qualifications. To be a higher education lecturer, you need to be an expert in your subject. Reaching this point requires years of reading and conducting your own research which you get from a PhD and doing postdoctoral research projects.
To become an educational psychologist, you need a PhD in psychology with a specialism in children or educational settings. You also need to do a British Psychological Society accredited course and be registered with the Health Care Professions Council.
Other jobs in the sector require diploma level education or an apprenticeship. This includes youth workers and family support workers. To become a youth worker, you can get an AIM qualification and explore the qualifications available to you from the Skills and Education Group Awards. If you want to complete an apprenticeship, you can use the government’s apprenticeship search tool and UCAS apprenticeships.
The salary that you expect in the sector depends on the type of job you’re interested in. Here are some salary ranges that you could expect:
- Public sector and government. Family support officers earn around £20,000 per year whereas youth workers earn between £20,000 and £30,000 per year. Working in the civil service fast stream could earn you between £28,000 and £40,000 per year whilst being a policy officer could see you earning between £26,000 and £43,000 per year.
- Education and training. Teachers earn between £25,000 and £45,000 which is extended to £50,000 for higher education lecturers. Educational psychologists earn between £27,000 and £55,000 per year.
- Charity and social enterprise. Charity fundraisers earn from £9 to £11 per hour which is between £18,000 and £23,000 annually if working full time.
- Civil Service Fast Stream
- National Health Service
- Cancer Research UK
- The Frontline Organisation
- The School of Life
- On Purpose
- CRCC Asia
Read this article to discover the leading graduate employers in charity, NGO and social enterprise.
CV and cover letter
The application process for most jobs in the sector begins with sending off a cover letter and CV. Your CV should be tailored to the job you’re applying for. This means taking the time to read through your education and work history and including only the experience that is relevant to the job you’re applying for. When writing your CV, you should craft it around your achievements rather than your responsibilities to show that you were a productive member of the team who achieved a lot in the job. If you need some tips for creating the perfect CV, you can follow this simple guide for how to write a CV.
Along with your CV, you often send a cover letter. Whilst a CV tells a hiring manager why you’re qualified for a job, a cover letter shows them why you’re the ideal candidate. Your cover letter should be unique to every job you apply for. You should use the information in the job description to craft your cover letter. If they’re looking for someone with great communication skills, show them how your previous work has given you great communication skills and when you had to put them into action. If you need a hand crafting the perfect cover letter, follow this useful guide which tells you how to write a cover letter and impress prospective employers.
If your application catches the attention of a prospective employer, you will be invited to interview with them. In the interview, you demonstrate your understanding of the job and the skills that you have. Interviewers often ask you targeted questions about how you have dealt with situations in the past. They may ask you how you would address any problems that you might face in the role.
Whilst they may seem daunting, interviews are often easier to handle than you might expect as long as you’ve taken the time to prepare beforehand. The preparation that you can do for an interview includes reading about the history of the organisation, its most recent outputs and who the most prominent staff members are.
For the interview, you should prepare some questions about the role. This could be the salary, the company culture, the working hours or any other piece of information that you want to know before beginning a job. Remember, an interview is also your opportunity to learn about the role and whether it’s a good fit for you. Read this great article on how to tackle face-to-face, phone and video interviews so you can ace every interview.
Applying to the Civil Service Fast Stream has its own process. There are many stages including a test and several interviews. If you’re interested in applying for the civil service fast stream, you can learn more about the application process here.
Are you interested in the sector? You can read this guide to social enterprise and charity graduate schemes to find out about what’s available to you.
Do you feel passionate about working in the public sector or within a charitable organisation? Browse graduate opportunities and take the first step towards a career in these rewarding sectors.
Find out about the top skills and qualities you need for the public sector. Are you worried about what social work involves? Read this article to learn about the biggest myths of social work.