Headlines: August 27th, 2004

Fewer people now regard a career in the public sector as a ‘job for life’ and there is now little to choose between the long-term security of working in the public or private sector according to the results of a new survey.The employment study by staffing services company, Select Appointments found a large number of jobseekers had no preference between working in the public services or in business, an indication, the company says that people now take jobs on their individual merit rather than basing a decision on which sector the job is in.

The company carried out the survey among 1,200 people from a variety of industries. The results clearly show the demise of the perception that working in the public sector is a job for life. Two thirds of respondents felt this was no longer the case. Almost four out of ten had no preference between the public and private sector.

Select Appointments says the shift in attitudes is good news for British organisations of all types. The public sector has historically provided more flexible and generous benefits packages than its commercial counterparts to attract candidates, for example often offering 30 days annual leave compared with the average 22 in private industry. The private sector has started to follow suit, by considering packages that are centred on improving the work-life balance.