National, regional and local government

There is a wide range of careers in central, national, regional and local government, ranging from general management graduate recruitment programmes to working in specific professions. Opportunities may not be advertised as graduate positions, but this does not mean that graduates cannot apply.

Working in government departments and agencies is underpinned by the aspiration of serving the local, regional and national community and the country at large, at home and overseas, in order to improve our social, economic and environmental quality of life. However, it may not be perceived as glamorous and some people may feel that the "institutional stickiness" of working in a political arena can be quite challenging. The public sector is also subject to changing economic circumstances which can affect funding and job opportunities.

The skills and experience required for individual jobs roles will differ, so it is best to refer to individual job profiles for more specific information.

Getting work experience via part time jobs and possibly internships will help you develop your skills and employability. Volunteering on a community project may help you to develop project management and administration skills. Experience of using qualitative and quantitative research skills, as well as communication skills, e.g. through your degree studies, could be beneficial.

Central government & Civil Service recruitment

Central government departments are responsible for devising policies and ensuring they are implemented.

Jobs in the different areas of central government including agencies and ministerial departments can be found on The Civil Service Recruitment gateway. Graduate entry is available through the different Civil Service Fast Stream schemes or through direct entry into the position.

For specialist roles within areas such as immigration and customs, entry at a lower level administration position via fast stream is usually required.

Please note that in the past there have been early closing dates for some of the Fast Stream schemes e.g. Analytical Fast Stream.

Regional and devolved government

The National Assembly for Wales represents all the people of Wales and provides a democratic and accountable body responsible for public services. The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government have certain legislative and policymaking responsibilities. The Northern Ireland Assembly has devolved responsibility for day to day matters such as education, health and the environment. The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands also have their own government and legislative system.

Interested in working for a politician? Some tips here

Local government

Local councils form local government and are responsible for the delivery of operational services such as Housing, Education and Social Care as well as creating local policies to manage and inform the future development and service delivery of the locality. They may be known as county councils, city councils, district, unitary or metropolitan borough councils.

Non departmental regulatory bodies

These are not part of government departments and are not staffed by civil servants; however they deal with major issues and influence and implement major government initiatives and form public bodies such as: