https://civilservice.blog.gov.uk/2018/09/10/a-new-way-to-explore-careers-across-the-civil-service/

A new way to explore careers across the Civil Service

Portrait image of Jo Rodrigues
Jo Rodrigues, Chief Operating Officer, Civil Service HR

Think back to when you found your first job in the Civil Service. You might have seen a job advertised online or in the paper. You might have heard about it from friends or family. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) told me that his department was about to advertise positions at AO (Administrative Officer) grade, so I went for one of those.

But where did you go to find out about opportunities across the Civil Service, its people, culture and values? How did you know the Civil Service was right for you?

Our research showed us that there is a lack of awareness of what the Civil Service does and the breadth of career opportunities available. When I joined, I never realised the breadth of roles available, and that nearly 20 years later I would have had the opportunity to work with so many fantastic people in different departments.

Graphic showing cartoon representations of people in different professions

Information about careers in the Civil Service is often disconnected and hard to find, which makes it difficult for civil servants and non-civil servants alike to learn about careers across the organisation, and to find the right job or next move for them.

Group of civil servants conversingSo, over the past 18 months, Civil Service HR has worked with marketing, digital and HR colleagues across government to develop the first ever Civil Service careers website. It’s part of our work to improve the diversity of our workforce, and realise our vision of a Brilliant Civil Service.

Civil Service Careers gives potential applicants a positive, honest, reliable and relatable insight into working for the Civil Service. It provides information about departments, professions and ways to join, bringing these together in one place for the first time. It aims to inform and inspire, and is designed to engage a diverse audience through showcasing our people, culture and values. For civil servants and non-civil servants alike, the careers site is a new way to explore careers across the Civil Service.

On the careers site you can:

  • explore information about careers in departments

  • learn about the range of opportunities in professions

  • find information about ways to join the Civil Service

Graphic with legend 'A great place to work'Take a look at the site and tell us what you think. Even though I’ve been in the Civil Service a long time I’ve learned new things. Please also share the site with friends and family so they can learn about the Civil Service, too.

11 comments

  1. Comment by Lynn posted on

    Joanna, you have written: "Information about careers in the Civil Service is often disconnected and hard to find, which makes it difficult for civil servants and non-civil servants alike to learn about careers across the organisation, and to find the right job or next move for them."

    Civil Service HR have spent 18 months developing the Civil Service careers website, and yet it omits certain Government professions. For example, there is no reference to the Government Legal Profession, or the Government Knowledge and Information Management Profession. Why publish information that is incomplete, and sidelines certain professions? Whether this is intentional or not, it is certainly misleading, and undermines the purpose of the site.

    Reply
    • Replies to Lynn>

      Comment by The Civil Service Careers Site Team posted on

      Hi Lynn,

      Thank you for your feedback on the careers site.

      Civil Service Careers was launched on 31 July 2018, with 10 departments and 6 professions. Since the launch, a further 6 departments and 3 professions have been added. As with all sites of this kind, it is work in progress, and work is already underway to include the remaining departments and professions. We hope to communicate more widely on this in the near future.

      The Civil Service Careers Site Team

      Reply
  2. Comment by Wendy Hindle posted on

    This sounds good but in reality you are not allowed to apply for these opportunities. I have recently applied for a level transfer across government but had a block put on my move due to business needs leaving no other choice but to resign. Such a shame after 14 years of service.

    Reply
    • Replies to Wendy Hindle>

      Comment by Frustrated posted on

      Similar here, opportunities to do what I actually want to do (and would be good at), that simultaneously fit with my location and care responsibilities, come up so very rarely - yet on the couple of occasions they have, I have been blocked.

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      • Replies to Frustrated>

        Comment by Terenee posted on

        I totally agree with some of the comments here. It looks all very nice on paper but reality is completely different. Many of these jobs that we would like to do and could do are not open to us due to business needs. As I can see many of the sites suffer from resourcing issues for years and years, lack of staff at certain grades. Does it mean that people who are actually working there will never get any development opportunity for all those years and are stuck there for life?? Unless you want to apply for promotion we've got no other options. What about people who don't want to apply for promotion but they want to do something different to their current role? It does sound very unfair. Even those who want to go for promotion, there isn't really enough development opportunities after you hit the band D grade.

        Reply
  3. Comment by Darren Watkins posted on

    I think we should also be encouraging more loans/secondments. They are a brilliant way at obtaining skills you wouldn't be able to obtain in your current role.

    Reply
  4. Comment by Mahomed Nazir posted on

    I agree with Lynn's comments in respect of Knowledge and Information Management.

    I am a Knowledge and Information Manager however there was not clear career pathway that brought me here and any support I need or seek just isn't available across the Civil Service.

    My development is self driven and self sourced relying on private consultants as well as OGD colleagues.

    I am aware that CILIP is working towards bringing some kind of a KM professional course to life but it is still early.

    Reply
  5. Comment by Carol posted on

    I work for the Health and Safety Executive which comes under the umbrella of DWP - but there is no reference to the valuable work that we do, no reference to us as being civil servants and no reference to my profession - under 'professions'.
    At least I know where I stand and how 'valued' the work of me and my colleagues actually is

    Reply
  6. Comment by Orla Murphy posted on

    To make movement between departments smoother, end of year performance management needs to be fixed and harmonised. 'Rank and yank' systems (whether you call them 'guided' or 'expected' distribution, or obfuscate them by other titles) should be prohibited - we shouldn't have some departments judging their staff performance against parameters agreed between staff and managers, and other departments judging staff against other staff in a rank and yank system.

    Similarly, if we want to be a 'brilliant' civil service we do need to be more honest with applicants; if we continue to have 'rank and yank' style performance systems then we should admit our staff management is predicated on inculcating competition between staff and stop pretending that the civil service intends to have a collegiate and supportive atmosphere. People can accept a lot, as long as they are given a fair choice and know what hey are accepting. Sadly at the moment I think applicants are often unintentionally misled. Recruiting managers may feel their local team is supportive but fundamentally the individual's performance (in a rank and yank system) is judged against a wider group, likely unknown to them. Once people have been in the civil service a couple of years and understand how rank and yank systems work (and what the intention behind them is), and how arbitrary, unpredictable and unfair they are, I have no doubt their feeling towards the civil service changes. We have a great opportunity right now to put recent poor practice behind us.

    Reply
  7. Comment by Sunny Bello posted on

    much of the conversations said earlier brings to light what has been troubling a lot of staffs for a while now and for me in particular, I am more troubled that certain job roles are only available in certain parts of the country and it makes it unfair that for one to work in certain job roles, you either need to relocate or give the idea up totally.
    such a waste when there are numerous talented individuals just coming in to work for the pay and nothing else seeing that they have given a large percentage of their lives working for the civil service and cannot start over again.

    Reply
    • Replies to Sunny Bello>

      Comment by Gillian Brown posted on

      I agree Sunny. There are no opportunities to work or shadow a colleague in a different part of the Civil Service or even my own agency because there are no civil service jobs in my location, after HMRC closed the tax office & moved it to Manchester. I've only kept mine because I work from home when the work I do was taken away from Local Authorities & moved to a government agency. If the office closures continue, there will be no opportunites in the VOA between Manchester & Glasgow! So how do get an opportunity to look for jobs elsewhere.

      Reply

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