Working in the public sector involves working in local or central government or independent agencies or quangos (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations) which are all involved the in the delivery of public services in the UK.
As well as being directly involved in delivering public services such as environmental, leisure employment and social services, there are also jobs in the healthcare, teaching, the Armed Forces, the Emergency Services and local councils.
The number of roles varies depending on the economic and political climate. Despite this, local authorities are required to offer certain services at a matter of statute, meaning those roles will always be needed.
The public sector does offer a huge amount of career progression and invests heavily in training to develop personal and workplace skills. Staff are often promoted from within, so staff retention levels are high.
Salaries are very competitive with the private sector and are graded so that each employee knows what level they are on and what they need to do get promoted or to achieve a pay rise.
The public sector environment is one that has a flexible approach to alternative working patterns such as part-time work, flexitime and job sharing. Free childcare is also available to many.