The study, by Barclays, spoke to execs at 670 UK businesses ‘of all sizes’, and found that a third of businesses are ‘not at all interested’ in employing ex-public sector workers, while another 23% are ‘not very interested’. Hardly surprising, then, that when they were asked whether private sector job creation can make up for those public sector job losses, 71% didn’t think so (although admittedly that’s dropped from 76% last year). 88% added that initiatives by the Government to encourage businesses to create jobs had ‘come to nothing at all’. Ouch.
What’s putting employers off? While that pay figure might suggest employers simply can’t afford to meet ex-public sector workers’ expectations, it seems the problem’s more endemic. A third of execs said those coming out of the public sector are ‘not very well equipped’ to take on the pressures of life in business, while 18% added they ‘won’t be equipped at all’. How will they know if they've never tried? Although, encouragingly, opinion seems to be divided: another third said ex-civil servants will be ‘quite well equipped’. So that’s something.
Interestingly, the survey also looked at private sector firms’ plans to create jobs. Apparently, 58% are planning to create new jobs, with 82% planning to create middle management and skilled jobs, while 59% want to create unskilled jobs and 21% senior management roles. That compares favourably for those coming out of the public sector: one reason the ONS gave for the pay gap was that 40% of civil servants have a degree, compared with just a quarter of those in private businesses. So those seeking to make the transition to business should have plenty of appropriate jobs waiting for them over the next year. If they can get their foot in the door in the first place, that is.