Headlines: December 1st, 2000

In the last year the civil service has taken on some 16,000 additional staff to cope with the changes resulting from the Modernising government programme. This 3.4% rise to a total of 475,000 reverses a 20 year trend of a decline in size of the civil service.The demand for more staff illustrates the fact that change always come with a price tag. What the figures do not reveal is that staff already in post have been required to keep the services going, while new people have been recruited to provide new services and develop new ways of doing things. Frequently this means that new skills are required such as operating and managing call centres and developing electronic systems. Although new technology will bring job losses in the more traditional work areas, there is likely to be a growing demand for new skills across the public sector.

In a search for people who may not previously have thought of public services as a possible career jobs4publicsector.com launched last month, is to target ethnic minorities, people in disadvantaged areas, the disabled and people working for commercial organisations. The aim will be not merely to fill vacancies, but also to help public bodies to achieve diversity targets.

In the first month of operation job4publicsector has listed almost 1000 jobs on the website and some 450 job seekers have registered a CV.