Thinking about a job in the public sector? The latest report from the SSC (State Services Commission) is mostly positive although some imbalances remain.

There is a good news for graduates and those early on in their career. For Victoria graduates wanting to stay and work in the Wellington, the Public Service (government ministries and departments) is an obvious option. Compared to other state sectors such as Health and Education, employment numbers in the Public Service have remained fairly static over the past 18 months, but one positive is that the retention of policy analyst graduates increasing. On average, 73% of policy analyst graduates who stared work in the Public Service between 2012 and 2013 were still employed after two years in 2015. The SSC is also offering:

  • events for summer interns and graduates, providing induction and showcasing career opportunities in the Public Service between December 2015 and April 2016.
  • The Emerging Leaders Fast Stream Programme (Accelerated development for high potential emerging leaders will be piloted in the Justice sector.)

At the front of the pack in earnings, the highest paid employees in the Public Service are Managers with an average salary of $124,388. Policy Analysts are not far behind on $93,666. ICT professionals and technicians, and Legal, HR and Finance employees come in around $86,500, closely followed by Information professionals with $78,612. Being in tertiary education, it’s somewhat sad to see that social, health and education professionals trail on $60,498. At the rear are inspectors and regulatory officers ($57,598), clerical and administrative workers (55,336) and contact centre workers (47,469).

Other interesting points to come out of the report include:

  • the proportion of women in management and senior leadership in the Public Service continues to increase with 60.5%, compared with 47.0% in the overall New Zealand workforce.
  • women representation in senior leadership in the Public Service has risen from 39.6% in 2011 to 44.2% in 2015. If the trend of the last five years continues, there will be 50% female representation by 2021.
  • the proportion of Asian, Maori and Pacific senior leaders in the sector in the last five years also showed an upward trend.
  • the gender pay gap between men’s and women’s average salary remains at 14% and has barely narrowed the past 5 years.

Currently the New Zealand public sector consists of around 2,600 organisations, employing around 353,000 people. The sector includes Public Service ministries and departments, DHBs, tertiary education institutions, regional and local councils, SOEs, Crown entities and their subsidiaries. The HRC report (Human Resource Capability in New Zealand State Services 2015) may sound like hard work but is in fact well presented and easy to understand. It is worth reading, especially if you are applying for graduate roles in the Public Service. A definite must-read for interview preparation as the report provides insight into the current trends in the workforce and will give you ideas for questions and discussion. You can view the report here.

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Career advice, Graduate jobs, Interest, Job application, Miscellaneous, Trends and statistics


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