Headlines: March 5th, 2010

The number of people thinking of moving from business into the public sector has fallen sharply since last year. A survey by the recruitment company, Hays, has found fewer than 38 per cent of respondents considering working for either local or central government, or the NHS.

‘The Private to Public Perceptions Survey’ says this is a drop of more than a third on figures from 2009 when 72 per cent of respondents were considering a move to the public sector. Hays says the results suggest a move away from interest in the public sector over the past year, and a hardening of attitudes to the value of the work.

In 2009 almost half of those surveyed thought the public sector was “more ethically and morally rewarding”. That has now dropped to just 21 per cent. The company’s Public Services Director, Andy Robling, said: “People are feeling more confident about the private sector as we move out of recession and less about the public as we move into an era that anticipates significant job cuts in the sector.”

A third of those in the survey were anticipating “considerable” job cuts in the public sector after the General Election but there was an increase in the number of people considering a move into the sector in search of a better work-life balance.

Andy Robling said the public sector was about to undergo one of the biggest reorganisations of public services in a generation and added: “As the public sector engages more with the private, so the work environment will be every bit as challenging, which also suits many people currently in the private sector and will provide further development opportunities for those already working in the public sector.”