Civil Service is recruiting – perks include pension, hols and flexible working

There’s never been a better time to join the Civil Service – and with a huge range of vacancies, you might be surprised by the array of jobs on offer – and where.

If you think the Civil Service is based only in London, think again. From accountancy and law to security and medicine, you can choose from 28 types of recognised profession, each offering career routes, and training and development programmes to help you get the best out of your work – plus networking opportunities.

The Civil Service has a mission to truly represent the people it serves and particularly welcomes applications from under-represented groups. And job benefits include flexible working, annual and parental leave, and pensions.

So if a career with the chance to make a difference to people’s lives beckons, find your next job at

'I’ve had a lot of support from others'

"I was born and brought up in Tanzania and I came to Wales to finish my education in 1996.

"I joined HMRC as an adminis­trative assistant in 2005 – never in a million years would I have thought I’d still be here 16 years later. But I worked with people I really admired and made good friends. When I started out it was all about admin tasks like filing and sending the brown envelopes people hate. But I was quickly promoted and I learned so much. In March 2021 I was promoted to my current role as customs fraud lead in the Fraud Investigation Service [FIS]. I only manage four people and we’re never going to be glamorous – there are no dawn raids or exciting seizures. The aim is for our team to use our knowledge to lead the FIS to serious customs fraud.

"I was lucky enough before the pandemic to be part of a team that travelled to Namibia, Madagascar and Tanzania to share how HMRC approaches customs risk. We were presenting to each country and listening to the experiences of their tax authorities. For me it was an amazing opportunity to see how our counterparts work.

"I’m also customs race lead in Wales. In the past couple of years I’ve really centred my attention on ensuring equality of opportunity for colleagues. In Cardiff we’ve set up mentoring, coaching and sponsorship with help from senior leaders. It’s about 20 per cent of my job and it’s completely changed my life. I’ve had a lot of support from others and I thought maybe I can support others."

'My job is just so rewarding'

"I was originally planning to study politics at Newcastle, but one day I decided to have a quick browse on the Civil Service apprenticeship website. I’d always wanted to work in government and it seemed such an incredible opportunity. I applied on a bit of a whim and went through the interview rounds, and then did a presentation on why more young people need to get involved in politics – but I never thought I’d get in.

"At first it was a bit of an overwhelming experience, going into these great buildings. You can’t believe you’re in this position, seeing all these really senior people in this massive government office. It took time to get my head around that, getting off the Tube every day with Big Ben behind me. I’m just a normal person!

"Now I’ve been working here for three months and it’s been great – although it feels like a lot longer because I’ve learned so much. Being in the centre of the Cabinet Office I get involved in lots of different areas, so I’m in the community and engagement team for the central GCS team, working on internal newsletters as well as helping run the social media channels. I get paid a full-time salary and still spend 20 per cent of my time studying.

"Before taking the apprenticeship I was worried about not making friends like you do in university. But I am part of a large cohort of apprentices and so have had lots of opportunities to socialise with them.

"I think about 90 per cent of apprentices go on to get a job. After this I’d like to do something in climate communications, maybe for another COP [Conference of the Parties].

"The apprenticeship is 18 months and so there’s always the option to go back to university if you decide that it’s not for you.

"But I think the vast majority of people decide that it is for them. I think it’s really magical. It’s just so rewarding, knowing that every day you’re working to hopefully benefit people, working to help make changes and save lives."

'No two days are the same'

"When I tell people I’m a civil servant – in particular for HMRC – I get lots of jokes about being lazy, having nothing to do and can I do anything about their VAT returns. I never go into specifics about my actual role because I am fairly sure it would leave people baffled, but hopefully my career to date shows the Civil Service can be an incredibly rewarding place to work.

"I joined the Civil Service in 2002 as a frontline manager for contact-centre advisers dealing with the introduction of tax credits, and also worked in HR for four years. After nearly 14 years, I gained my G7 promotion to a senior project manager working on delivering IT projects across the entirety of HMRC. This was followed by a brief secondment to the Northern Ireland Office as a senior policy adviser on EU Exit. I then came back to HMRC and moved across into my current role in January.

"There’s the opportunity to move into different professions, and the plethora of jobs available mean that you can continue to grow and learn from each role.

"No two days are the same and the people I work with are fantastic."

'It’s very family friendly'

"One thing that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by is how supportive and inclusive the Civil Service is. Being a working mum to Henry, six, and four-year-old Harriet, I think it’s really important to have some flexibility and bring your whole self to work. It’s very family friendly.

"I work 32 hours over a four-day week. My managers were very supportive of my request to work Monday to Thursday. My little girl has some significant health issues, so having that flexibility is so important to me.

"Tech is usually male dominated in the private sector, but it’s been a refreshing surprise to find that the balance is much better in the Civil Service. Two female staff above me also do a four-day week, so there’s the opportunity to look at that career trajectory.

"Here in the government finance function there’s a good gender balance, lots of diversity and different skill sets that people bring to the team. I think it definitely reflects the people in the country we serve, which is exactly what it should do.

"The civil service is very good at looking at people’s transferable skills rather than overlooking you if you haven’t worked in the same job before. For me, I like doing a role that adds value in society and I’ll hopefully have a career where I can succeed and get promoted. As a working mother, that’s absolutely possible here.

"Training opportunities are a real strong point, too – from courses to mentoring.

"I work hard, but I like having the balance and flexibility. That’s worth more to me than pound notes would be.

"The Civil Service is a unique organisation and you get to be involved in things that make a difference to people around the country. It’s really quite special."

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