PF careers spotlight: looking to ex-forces, fostering diversity and more

27 Feb 23

The sector is always looking to recruit great people to help deliver vital public services. Here are some issues being considered by jobseekers and recruiters alike.

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Civvy street offers public sector roles for ex-Armed Services

Local authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to former Armed Service personnel – including career development.

Local government has committed to continue its work as the critical link between military careers and life in civvy street.

Councils have re-signed the Armed Forces covenant which sets out they will support people who have served, as well as their families.

The announcements have also been used as an opportunity for local government to reach out to personnel who could be suitable for roles. A significant number of UK military have joined public sector organisations after signing off, because their core skills and values match.

They are used to working in defined organisational structures with clear mandates and statutory demands.

Policing has historically recruited into its ranks, particularly for response work including armed officer roles.

Since November last year, councils, NHS trusts and other local bodies across the UK providing services to the Forces community have a legal duty to consider the impact of their decisions.

Most have gone further by running skills and job support programmes to match them with employers.

Leader of Staffordshire County Council, Alan White, said: “We continue to work with our partners to support our armed forces community, to help explain what they do, the significant role they play, and to recognise the valuable skills and experience they bring. This benefits not only local businesses and communities but allows them to enjoy full and rewarding careers and lives in our great county.” 

North Yorkshire Council, which is due to start work in April, was another to sign up last week. 

North Yorkshire has 10,770 military personnel in the county – one of the largest numbers nationally – along with the highest numbers of veterans in the country, with 29,831 former members of the Armed Forces living in North Yorkshire, according to data from the 2021 Census. 

Council leader Carl Les said: “We serve an area with several military bases on our patch and we employ staff who are veterans, and those who have children who are serving personnel.”

Basildon Council has earned a Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award in recognition of its support and commitment to the armed forces community.

It said: “We will always welcome job applications from members of the Armed Forces, who will never be unfairly disadvantaged at any stage of our recruitment and selection process.”

CV discrimination is rife, graduate warns

Discrimination in job applications is rife, a Romanian graduate has warned.

An experiment has revealed CVs are routinely ignored by employers if they appear to be from someone with a non-White British background.

Georgiana Popescu, who now works as a fraud investigator, revealed she had sent identical job applications using her real name and from ‘Sarah’. She had decided to do the comparison after failing to land roles despite having a degree.

She chose 40 companies where she believed her skills would match job adverts after only being offered warehouse roles – unlike friends from her degree course. 

‘Sarah’ got responses from 11 companies, but Georgiana was not contacted at all.

The revelation comes just days after the French government announced plans to send fake CVs to employers – including public sector organisations – in a bid to tackle discrimination.

Popsecu has gone public after finding out online that many others have had similar experiences.

She said: “I wasn’t surprised. I somehow expected it. My name is Georgiana Popescu so it’s obvious I'm from Eastern Europe. The other one was Sarah.

“I feel like people need to be more aware and I also believe it might encourage people to stop suffering in silence, but I’m also upset because so many people related to it.”

Department of Transport wants people on the move

The Department of Transport is looking for audit experts to chair committees.

The Whitehall department has begun its search and is looking for account or finance directors for Audit and Risk Committee chairs.

If you are interested or want to find out more email [email protected] 

Lewisham housing lead steps up and the Met confirms Owen

Two significant public sector roles that have propelled people into bigger careers have been secured.

Lewisham Council has confirmed it has appointed housing boss Jennifer Daothong will take over as acting chief executive of the council from March.

She will take over from Kim Wright who is transferring to Brent, which is in the process of reorganising its services after a change of administration.

Lewisham’s top post has become a stepping-stone for high-achievers such as Barry Quirk.

The Metropolitan Police had some good news to report after months of torrid headlines.

Dame Lynne Owens has been appointed Deputy Commissioner after taking on the role as a temporary post. She was previously head of the National Crime Agency but stepped down for cancer treatment.  

Hugely respected across policing and Whitehall, she had refused to apply for the top job after Cressida Dick was forced to step down. 

Her confirmation means she could become a successor to Sir Mark Rowley who was brought in from the private sector.


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