The Public Sector is one of the biggest employers in Australia, with the largest number of employees in Education, Defence, Health, and Community services. Career opportunities are available in almost every industry imaginable and at all levels, including Accounting and Finance, Customer Service, Human Resources, Policy Writing and Programme Management, and Teaching, just to name a few. Opportunities in the Public Sector are both plentiful and diverse, and you could find yourself working for your Local Council, Government Corporation, or State, Territory or Federal department. There are countless opportunities to work for Government at all levels in both metropolitan and regional levels, and in some instances, your role could take your overseas!
Gaining a position within the Government is often not as hard as people think, as the skills and training that you receive in the private sector are easily transferable. For example, skills developed working in a policy related role, such as analysis, writing, research, and stakeholder engagement; translate well to a variety of contexts. Moreover, unlike some sectors, the Public Sector provides myriad opportunities for both women and young people starting out their careers. According to the Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Agency, as of February 2016, women comprise 46% of all Public Sector employees in Australia, with 14% holding chair positions, 23.6% in directorships, as well as 15.4% in CEO positions! So, what exactly is so appealing about working in the Public Sector?
The Australian Public Sector is attractive and offers opportunities to those commencing their career, as well as to graduates and professionals transferring from the private sector. In order to attract the best quality candidates at all levels, you will find that career structure and employee benefit packages ensure that you will enjoy real career development and opportunity. For example, while most positions are built on merit-based appointment; you will find many opportunities for individual career progression. This is achieved through regular performance reviews where you and your manager will agree on progression criteria, so that you are always clear on what is required to be achieved prior to moving to the next stage of your career.
Contrary to the stereotypical rumours regarding Public Servants, you do have to be prepared to work hard for the Public Sector – but you will be rewarded with almost unrivalled working conditions and benefits which include a comfortable salary and leave conditions, flexible work practices, in addition to professional development and career progression. Furthermore, many Government departments support and encourage employees who pursue further study. Many departments and agencies are aiming to build a high quality workforce in the Public Sector and therefore are committed to providing individual training and development opportunities to assist staff to gain qualifications and skills that are interchangeable between roles.
Government agencies and departments offer competitive salaries to attract the right kind of people to work for them. One of the most attractive employee benefits would have to be salary packaging. This allows you to use pre-tax dollars to top-up superannuation, use a salary packaged funded credit card, access a leased vehicle for private use, or take out discounted private health insurance cover. Other tax-effective, work-related and deductable items are also often offered, including laptop computers, mobile phones, and professional membership fees.
Most importantly, employers within the Public Sector recognise that there is more to life than work, so they support you in achieving an effective work/life balance. Subject to your employer’s approval, this could include part-time work, job sharing, home-based work, and paid additional annual leave. So, if you are after a rewarding and progressive career with the potential to value-add to your skills and experience, whilst adding flexibility to your lifestyle, then perhaps a career within the Public Sector is for you! For further career advice and assistance with creating an application package that will be sure to increase your chances at getting you a foot in the Public Sector door, contact the team at Public Service Resumes and get where you are meant to be!