UK businesses shun public sector staff

2011

As the UK's public sector starts to feel the full weight of financial belt-tightening, the government is doubtless hoping that many of those who will lose their jobs are going to find work in the private sector, particularly with smaller employers.

But according to a new survey of small business owners, the overwhelming majority of SMEs take a very dim view indeed of former-public sector staff, with a mere two per cent saying they would actively seek to recruit public sector workers and almost a quarter only hiring them if they couldn't find anyone else for the job. Just over one in ten said they would not take on a public sector worker at all, whatever the circumstances.

The reason for this lies in the perception that the public sector has encouraged "over-indulged staff with unrealistic expectations of the work place". Half (55 per cent) of SME owners believe public sector workers are unrealistic in their expectations about pay, holidays and employment terms, and only one in 10 (11 per cent) think that public sector workers are as productive as their private sector counterparts.

And just to underline the yawning perception gap between the two, just six per cent think that that a public sector worker would fit in well at their company.

Older Comments

I was interested when I read about this research as an ex-public sector employee trying to find new employment. There do still exist the 'sleepy valley' ideas of the public sector (this is what it was called when I was at university!) but the reality is the majority of middle management working very hard and under rewarded with very senior management taking advantage of the commitment to the public sector ethos.

Anne