Headlines: July 14th, 2004

Although ninety per cent of jobseekers surveyed by totaljobs.com, a UK jobs board, would consider applying for a public sector post, there are perceptions which may make them think twice. Eighty-two per cent of respondents see the public sector as bureaucratic, 66 per cent believed it is an ungenerous employer and 50 per cent were concerned about limited job prospects. A further 65 per cent said that public sector employers did not have a modern outlook.Comparisons with private businesses also proved worrying. Only 15 per cent of those surveyed thought public bodies paid high salaries, compared with 69 per cent who believed the private sector had deeper pockets. Forty-four per cent of jobseekers also felt that private sector employers were more effective at promoting the benefits of working for them, while 22 per cent favoured the public sector.

Examples of jobseekers’ grumbles about public sector employment included: “Boring, bureaucratic and attracts the cardigan brigade with no ambitions. A job for life, but you may as well have died early anyway for all the excitement it entails.” “Too process-driven. Does not encourage an entrepreneurial spirit.” “I worked there before. There are very limited career options as so many people are waiting for their pensions in ten years’ time.”