Whether you are looking for your first job or looking to change careers, the civil service may be the answer.

For ANY of your interests – from the environment to the security of our country – the civil service has a corresponding department.

For these three people, it turned out to be just a job …


Inspired to inspire others

Prue Orridge, 43, lives in Cardiff. She is Head of Customs Fraud at HM Revenue & Customs Fraud Investigation Service (HMRC) and Head of the HMRC racing network in Wales.

I was born and raised in Tanzania in Africa and came to Wales in 1996 to complete my education. I joined HMRC as an administrative assistant in 2005.

Once I saw what HMRC was like, I didn’t want to leave. I worked with wonderful, friendly people that I really admired and made good friends.

At first, it was all about basic administrative tasks, but I was quickly promoted to higher positions until finally, in March last year, I got my current position as Head of Customs Fraud in the Fraud Investigation Service. [FIS].

It’s not always glamorous – there are no surprise raids or spectacular takeovers – but it’s our job to use our knowledge to lead the FIS into serious customs fraud.

FIS is an area of ​​public service where black and Asian minorities generally don’t see people who look like them. I remember one day I heard my brother

told his friend to apply for the position of chief executive, and his friend said, “Black people don’t get promoted.” My brother retorted, “My sister is a senior officer.” His friend’s face – he couldn’t believe it!

But it’s true, me. I also lead the customs race in Wales and we ensure equal opportunities for colleagues regardless of their ethnicity.

We have developed mentoring and coaching schemes, as well as sponsorship arrangements with the help of senior executives.

For people who are thinking about public service, to see someone like me from Africa who came here and now works at a senior level in a government department is inspiring.

To a bright start

Amber Warne, 19, is a campaign manager for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Department (FCDO) in London.

I always imagined that I would go to university, but when I started applying, the cost and the associated debt weighed heavily on me.

I have always wanted to work in communications, so I was happy to learn that I could apply to study at the State Communications Service (GCS).

I had never written a resume or gone to corporate interviews before, so I was nervous but practiced and researched a lot. The training was perfect for me. There were so many opportunities to learn and get stuck.

There is something for everyone in government, and apprenticeships give you life skills and lessons that I couldn’t learn in a lecture hall.

I joined the apprenticeship at 18 and as a young man starting my career I expected people to doubt me and my lack of experience, but that was not the case at all.

GCS is full of amazing resources. I had the opportunity to attend courses to develop my professional skills and lay the foundations for my career. You never stop learning.

Webinars, trainings, everyone will find something for themselves and every day is different.

I am now a campaign manager working with two teams at FCDO, climate campaigns (given that this is the year of the government’s presidency of COP26) and the Great UK Challenge Fund.

Work in the public service was brilliant for me. I was only 18 years old and I worked in the Covid-19 and COP26 strategic communications team – where else can this be?

I was pushed out of my comfort zone and forced to challenge myself. There is a level of job satisfaction unattainable in other professions when I know that the work I do helps people and matters.

Starting an internship at GCS was the best decision I made – don’t hesitate to apply.

Help people help themselves

Ben Stewart, 27, is Senior Policy Adviser for the Debt Deferral Program at HM Treasury in Darlington.

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I grew up in Birkenhead and came from a nice working-class family. My dad is a police officer and my mom works on the council, so the idea of ​​service has always been there.

I went to a good local school and York University before joining the Fast Stream program for public service. I currently work for the Financial Services Group at the Department of the Treasury as a Senior Policy Adviser for the Debt Suspension Program.

The scheme has two elements: a respite and a statutory debt repayment plan.

Both are part of the government’s commitment to helping people who are in debt become more secure in their finances.

It’s a brilliant thing to work with because it’s a great mix of social and economic policy and it’s clear how it will benefit people and have a quick impact.

I didn’t think I could do something so important in my career so soon. For me, this is the ideal role – challenging and rewarding.

I wake up looking forward to work because I make people’s lives better. And there are always surprises.

Last week I was at a meeting at the House of the 1st Horse Guards in London, where the Treasury is based. It was a little surreal!

I never thought that someone like me could do what I’m doing now.

The civil service will only become more diverse and more reflective of the country as a whole, and I think this will lead to more effective policies.

Is there a role for you?

Here are just some of the areas in which you could work in the public service:

  • Digital Data and Technology
  • Communications
  • Finance
  • Legal
  • International trade and negotiations
  • Human resources
  • Anti-fraud and security

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