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How Much Do We Actually Know About the Public Sector Employment Boost?

It has been the hot topic for the up and coming elections; public sector employment.

Each party boasts their commitment to improve the NHS over coming years by funnelling more money into the public service but before anyone can cast their vote based on the heavily circulated manifestos, the government is already pumping the pennies into areas of the public sector.

The government has planned a “pre-election hiring spike” in health and education employment. They will be hiring for a variety of roles such as technological skills as the government pushes ahead with digitisation.

The survey conducted was based on responses from 2,100 UK employers and the public sector has an outlook of +12%, which is double the national average of +6%. With all the recent press on cutbacks for the NHS and other aspects of the public sector, most may think taking on new hires would be the last thing to happen.

However, as already noted, it is a focus on digital skills that has become a priority. The world has moved into a digital era and so the public sector needs to as well. Healthcare systems and ways of educating are becoming more technologically orientated so it is vital that the staff are there to help maintain the digital systems in place.

Back in 2012, minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, launched the government’s “digital by default” strategy that showed how digitalising the public sector could save a lot of money. He showed how online transactions could be 20 times cheaper than those done over the phone and 50 times cheaper than by post. Maude estimated the strategy would save £1.2bn over three years.

Three years later and there could be questions raised as to whether that prediction has panned out. Clearly the strategy has been effective as the government push more investment into digitisation before the elections, but where have the savings been transferred to?

There’s still plenty of time before the next General Election and going in with as much information as possible is definitely key before casting your vote. 


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