Five reasons to consider a public sector procurement career

Ben Stickland from the public sector side of Procurement Heads shares five reasons why people should consider procurement and supply chain careers in the public sector.

1. The people

In my experience and having spoken with many procurement professionals from all areas of the public sector, they are some of the loveliest people you’ll meet.

Everyone is passionate about the work they do, and the environment fosters a sense of support and collaboration rather than competition.

2. Progression

Most public sector organisations have defined roles and bandings with clear succession plans and opportunities for progression.

Even if you can’t advance easily in one organisation, the skills and processes you gain can easily be transferred to another.

3. Sense of purpose

If you want to wake up every morning and feel good about what you do, you can’t beat the public sector.

Whether it is working for a charity, the NHS or housing, you can contribute to making a huge difference in the lives of others.

I feel honoured to work with some of the amazing professionals in this sector.

4. Variety

There’s no end to the types of projects you can work on within the public sector!

Whether you want to be working with IT categories in a bustling NHS trust or facilities and maintenance for some of this country’s most beautiful outdoor places, there are so many different opportunities.

5. Benefits

The ONS found in 2019 that “Of all the employees in the public sector, 82% were in defined benefit schemes, while only 8% of all employees in the private sector were in such schemes.”

Additionally, the Institute of Fiscal Studies found that public sector benefits are about 14% higher than similar private sector roles!

ONS Public Sector employment data

  • For March 2022, there was an estimated 5.74m employees in the public sector, 21,000 more than December 2021 and 67,000 more than March 2021.
  • Central government employment was estimated at 3.54m for March 2022, a 20,000 rise compared with December 2021 and 70,000 compared to March 2021 – with the main contributors to this being the NHS, Civil Service and the academisation of local authority schools.
  • The ongoing response to the pandemic was largely responsible for an increase in NHS employment, with 1.88m employed by the NHS in March 2022, up 13,000 from December 2021 and 39,000 in March 2021.
  • There were 511,000 employees in the Civil Service for March 2022, up 4,000 compared with December 2021 and 6,000 more than for March 2021; the Civil Service has continued to increase in employment since June 2016 when the employment was 416,000.
  • Employment in local government was an estimated 2.01 million, an increase of 3,000 (0.1%) compared with December 2021 and 5,000 (0.3%) compared with March 2021; increases in employment in the police have driven this.

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