The public sector is typically comprised of public services and enterprises, funded by the government and taxpayers. Most businesses within the sector are not-for-profit; they are typically responsible for providing public services such as education, healthcare, social care, emergency services, housing and more.

The public sector is a great place to work whilst making an essential contribution to society. In 2019, 5.42 million people were employed in the public sector, which makes up nearly 17% of all people in paid work.

Many graduates have an interest in working within the sector due to great employment opportunities that guarantee stability and the chance for further training. For example, the Civil Service offers competitive salaries for graduates to work in areas such as Security, HM Treasury and the Foreign and Commonwealth office.

What benefits do graduates bring to the public sector?

Enthusiasm for social causes

Given the current social and economic difficulty in the UK caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, many graduates are looking to work in careers that feel meaningful and provide assistance during this difficult time. For example, there has been a 70% spike in the number of people applying to be teachers over lockdown, potentially resulting in 1.5 million new teachers in the UK. Furthermore, graduates bring dedication and enthusiasm to roles in this sector as they tend to be more passionate about the societal impact their job will have.


Graduates are the best-equipped candidates in the country for adapting their skills into new roles and challenges. A university degree teaches you how to think critically, solve problems, analyse information and adopt new viewpoints. These skills are essential in the public sector. As we move through a crisis affecting both the economy and our public services, many public-sector workers are learning to adapt to new environments and challenges every day.

Graduate schemes

Thousands of graduates choose to take a job with one of the many public-sector companies providing graduate schemes. For example, the NHS, Teach First, Civil Service, Secret Intelligence Service, Local Government and The Metropolitan Police.

While these schemes offer tremendous opportunities for training and work experience over a set period, they often don’t guarantee a job at the end of it. As a public-sector provider, you could reap the benefits of this training and relevant experience by offering them a job. The fact they have just trained within your industry means they have first-hand experiences of the challenges of working in the public sector and will be more motivated to break down barriers to public services like healthcare and education.

For more information on why to hire graduates, visit our page on Funding.

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